After correction for seasonal effects, consumer confidence is -29 in December 2004, i.e. 2 points down on last month. For the fourth month on the trot confidence is below the level of the previous month. December’s decrease in consumer confidence was mainly caused by the fact that consumers were more negative about the future of the Dutch economy and their own financial situation, according to Statistics Netherlands’ consumer confidence survey.
More pessimism about economic climate
Dutch consumers were more negative about the economic climate in December than they were in November and they are notably more pessimistic about the economic climate in the twelve months to come.
Consumers also more negative about their own financial situation
After elimination of seasonal effects, willingness to buy is -23 in December, virtually the same as in November. This indicator is based on consumers’ opinions on the financial position of their own household and on the question whether it is a suitable time to buy expensive items.
Consumers became considerably more negative about their own financial situation in the next twelve months. In December this indicator reached an all-time low. Consumers’ opinions on their own financial situation did not change over the last twelve months. Lastly, consumers are less negative about buying expensive items than they were in November.
Consumer confidence dips after tentative recovery
During the first eight months of 2004 consumer confidence cautiously increased to peak in August. Subsequently, it began to fall and, in December, approached the level of the beginning of this year. On balance, pessimists outnumbered optimists throughout the year but on the whole consumer confidence was above last year’s level.
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