Men most optimistic about the economy

15/03/2007 10:28

Men and people with a higher level of education are considerably more optimistic about the future of the economy than average. Optimism is also relatively high in the west of the Netherlands.

More positive than ever

Consumers’ confidence in the economy rose strongly in 2006. In the last three quarters of 2006, the percentage of optimists was more than 20 points higher than the percentage of pessimists. Dutch consumers have not been this positive before in the last twenty years. This optimism is the result of a period of increasing confidence that began after the low point of minus 42 in 2003.

Men and younger people more positive

Men have considerably more confidence in the economy than women. The percentage of optimists minus the percentage of pessimists was on average 20 points higher for men. Age also plays a part, young people are more positive than older people. 

Outlook on the economic situation by sex

Outlook on the economic situation by sex

Higher educated particularly more optimistic

People’s view of the economy in the coming twelve months correlates strongly with education level. In 2006, confidence among higher educated people was around 30 points higher than among those with lower education levels. At the low point in 2003, however, confidence was equally low for all levels of education. 

Outlook on the economic situation by level of education

Outlook on the economic situation by level of education

People in work have more confidence in the economy

People who have a job have more confidence in the future of the economy than people who do not work or work for only a few hours a week. In addition, couples (with or without children) are more positive than single people and one-parent families.

Population in the west of the Netherlands more positive

Optimists outnumbered pessimist in all parts of the country in the fourth quarter of 2006. However, the size of the differences varied. In the west of the Netherlands optimism about economic developments was highest, with  25 points difference between optimists and pessimists. The other parts of the country lagged behind. Through the years, Utrecht has been the most optimistic province.

Outlook on the economic situation by part of the country, 4th quarter 2006

Outlook on the economic situation by part of the country, 4th quarter 2006
 
Jan-Willem Bruggink