The volume of domestic consumption by households was 0.5 percent smaller in April 2005 than in April 2004. Households spent less on durable goods in particular, but spending on food was also lower than twelve months previously. According to figures form Statistics Netherlands, consumers did spend a fraction more on services. The figures are corrected for price changes and differences in shopping day patterns.
Fourth successive month with lower consumption
April 2005 is the fourth month in a row that domestic consumption was lower than twelve months previously after correction for price changes and shopping day patterns. Domestic consumption has been ailing for more than two years now. In 2003 the consumption volume fell for the first time in twenty years, and in 2004 the growth was limited, at 0.5 percent.
Consumers cut down on durable goods
Of all the consumption categories, spending on durable goods is under the most pressure. In nearly every month since the beginning of 2003 the consumption volume of durable goods, corrected for shopping days, was smaller than twelve months previously.
In the first four months of 2005, too, households were cautious in spending on durable goods. They spent substantially less on new cars than in the same period in 2004. In addition, the volume of spending on household appliances, furnishings, leatherwear and shoes was smaller than in the first four months of 2004.
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