Consumer confidence slightly higher again

Dutch consumer confidence, seasonally adjusted, reached -22 in February 2005. This is 4 points higher than in January, and also the second slight increase in a row. Dutch consumers started 2005 with more confidence than they ended 2004. During the last four months of 2004 consumer confidence became lower by the month. The increase in February 2005 is due to the fact that consumers are less negative about the general economic situation. Consumers remain invariably less willing to buy, according to the consumer survey by Statistics Netherlands.

Consumers less negative about the economic climate

Consumer opinion about the economic climate, seasonally adjusted, improved substantially in February compared to January. It increased by 12 points, reaching -23. Consumers became less negative about the economic climate in the next as well as the previous twelve months. It is the first time since August 2004 that consumers were more positive about the next twelve months. This means that, on balance, there are more optimists than pessimists. 

Willingness to purchase invariably low 

The willingness to purchase, seasonally adjusted, reached -22. This is virtually the same as in the previous month. Willingness to purchase is based on the opinions consumers have about the financial situation of their household and on the answer to the question if the time is right for major purchases. Consumers are slightly more negative about their own finances over the last twelve months. This indicator reached the lowest seasonally adjusted value in February since the start of the series in 1986. Consumers are also slightly more negative making about major purchases such as furniture. However, they are somewhat more positive about the future of their own finances.

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