Household consumption up in the third quarter

The volume of domestic household consumption in the third quarter of 2004 was up by 0.6 percent on the same quarter of 2003. This increase occured mainly at the start of the quarter, according to the latest figures by Statistics Netherlands. The first two quarters likewise saw a volume increase on the year before. In 2003 domestic household consumption fell by almost 1 percent. The growth rate in household consumption in 2004 is partly due to the extra expenditure on care services.

Expenditure on services causes growing consumption

In the third quarter of 2004 households spent 1.3 percent more on services than in the third quarter of 2003. The figure is corrected for price changes. One reason is that household expenditure on care increased because of changes in the health insurance system (AWBZ and Ziekenfondswet). The volume of household consumption of food, beverages and tobacco was 0.4 percent higher than the year before.

Consumers spent 0.7 percent less on durable consumer goods in the third quarter of 2004 than the year before. This figure is corrected for price changes. This was the sixth quarter in a row in which the volume of expenditure on durable consumer goods was lower than the year before. However, the decrease in the third quarter of 2004 was not as large as that in the previous five quarters.

Consumption in September down by 0.3 percent

In September 2004 the volume of domestic household consumption, corrected for shopping day patterns, was 0.3 percent lower than in September 2003. Households spent over 2 percent less on goods and 1.5 percent more on services. The volume of domestic consumption still increased by 1.1 percent in July and 0.3 percent in August 2004. So the growth rate slowed down in the course of the third quarter.

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