Consumption up in January

Dutch domestic household consumption was 1.5 percent up in January 2006 on the same month last year. Spending on durable goods in particular was higher. Monthly figures have been corrected for price changes and differences in shopping day patterns.

Consumers are buying more durable goods. The volume of spending on durable goods in January was 3.8 percent higher than in January 2005. Households bought more furniture, clothes, shoes and consumer electronics in particular. Spending on durable goods increased strongly in the past six months. Car sales, however, are heavily in decline: they fell again in January, just as in previous months.

Households spent more on services than one year previously; the increase was 0.8 percent. Spending on food, beverages and tobacco fell slightly, by 0.2 percent.

In 2006 a new system of health care insurance came into effect in the Netherlands. This will have a considerable effect on consumer spending, as it results in a shift from consumption by households to consumption by government.

This shift distorts the development of consumption by households and thus the course of the business cycle. Therefore Statistics Netherlands has decided to calculate the monthly year-on-year changes exclusive of medicines, health care articles, health services and welfare. For more information see the article ‘The effect of the new health insurance system on the key economic indicators’ published in the Economic Monitor on March 24 2006.

Domestic household consumption (volume)

Domestic household consumption (volume)