Dutch households spent 3.8 percent more in April compared with twelve months previously. This consumption growth is mostly accounted for by spending on goods. The figures have been corrected for price changes and differences in shopping day patterns.
Households spent 6.6 percent more on goods than in April 2005, and 8.7 percent more on durable goods. They bought more clothes, home furnishings and electronics in particular. Consumers also spent much more on food, beverages and tobacco. Spending on services grew by less than spending on goods. Compared with one year previously, spending on services was 1.2 percent higher.
Goods purchased in retail outlets accounted for about one third of domestic consumption expenditure. Retail turnover showed a clear increase in April.
The new system of health care insurance, introduced in January 2006, has had consequences for the consumption figures. Adjustments have been made for this: monthly figures in 2006 are exclusive of health care. For more information about this, see the Focus article The effect of the new health insurance system on the key economic indicators published on 24 March 2006.