December’s consumer confidence index was marginally up on the previous month and is now, after a minor downturn in November, back at the level of September and October. Figures published by Statistics Netherlands indicate that, for the first time since 2000, optimists outnumber pessimists at the end of the year.
Consumers positive about economic climate in the Netherlands
Since the end of 2000, consumers have not been so positive about the economic climate in the past twelve months as they are in December. They remained optimistic about economic developments in the twelve months to come.
Willingness to buy somewhat improved
Consumers’ willingness to buy improved slightly in December. It is based on the question, whether the time is right to buy expensive durable goods and on consumers’ opinions about the financial situation of their own household.
In December, consumers have become considerably more positive about their own financial situation in the next twelve months. On the other hand, they were invariably negative about their financial situation in the past twelve months. For the third time this year, after a period of more than 4.5 years in which pessimists were in the majority, consumers’ opinions on buying expensive items were in the positive range.
Consumers considerably more optimistic in 2006
After several years in which the index was low, consumer confidence began to improve by mid-2005. The positive trend continued into 2006 and in June optimists outnumbered pessimists for the first time in five years. There was a dip in July and November, which did not really affect the overall positive trend.
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