Consumer spending higher

In August, households spent 3.1 percent more on goods and services than in the same month last year. Spending on goods increased by 5.1 percent compared to August 2005 and spending on services by 1.3 percent. The increase in consumer spending in August succeeds a considerably lower growth in July. However, the overall growth in July and August lags behind the growth rate in the preceding months. The figures were corrected for price changes and differences in shopping day patterns.

In 2006, consumers clearly show more interest in buying goods and services than in recent years. In the first eight months of 2006, households spent almost 3 percent more on goods and services than in the same period last year. In 2004 and 2005, consumption grew by 1.0 and 0.9 percent respectively.

Spending on durable goods increased by over 7 percent compared to the first eight months of 2005. Durable consumer goods include for example, clothing, furniture, cars and consumer electronics. Spending on durable goods is easily affected by the economic situation.

Approximately one third of domestic consumer spending is on retail goods. In August, Dutch retailers generated a considerably higher turnover than in the same month last year. For more information on both statistics, see the Focus article: Short-term statistics on retail trade and consumption by households published on 31 August 2006.

Figures on consumption are affected by the new health care system introduced in January 2006 and had to be revised: monthly figures are published in 2006 exclusive of health care. More information can be found in the Focus article The effect of the new health care system on the key economic indicators published on 24 March 2006.

Domestic household consumption (volume)

Domestic household consumption (volume)