Household consumption stalling

Dutch households remain reticent in their spending. The volume of domestic household consumption in October 2004, corrected for shopping day patterns, was down 0.1 percent on October 2003. In September there was a slight 0.1 percent increase on September 2003, according to the latest figures by Statistics Netherlands.

During the first eight months of this year there was a modest growth in consumption. Consumer expenditure increased by 0.4 percent.

Less spent on goods

In October 2004 households spent 1.7 percent less on goods than the year before. This figure is corrected for price changes. Households spent about the same on food, beverages and tobacco, however they spent 2.3 percent less on durable goods such as clothing, furniture and cars.

More spent on services

Households spent 1.5 percent more in services than in October 2003. On 1 January 2004 there were several major changes in health insurances and disablement benefits. Therefore households spent a lot more on medical care and social services than in 2003.

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