Dutch consumer ranks among the most optimistic in Europe

31/07/2007 15:00

The Dutch, together with the Finns and the Swedes are Europe’s most optimistic consumers. Unlike in the US, consumer confidence in Europe has grown noticeably since 2003.

Consumer confidence high in Finland, the Netherlands and Sweden

In June 2007, the Finns, Dutch and Swedes were the most positive consumers in the EU. In these three countries, the consumer confidence index stood at 21. In Hungary, Portugal and Cyprus, a very negative mood prevailed.

Consumer confidence in the EU countries, June 2007 1)

Consumer confidence in the EU countries, June 2007 1)

1) The figures of Cyprus and Latvia refer to May

Same trend in the Netherlands as in the rest of Europe

The Dutch consumer confidence index was 5 points up in June 2007 on one year previously. The increase almost equalled the average increase in the EU over the past year. The mood improved as employment in Europe picked up. Among the largest EU countries, France and Germany were the most positive.

Unflagging optimism over the past seventeen years

The Netherlands has ranked among the most positive countries in the EU for the past seventeen years. Over this period, the Dutch consumer confidence index averaged 5, as opposed to -11 for Europe as a whole. Only Finland, Sweden and Denmark were more optimistic. The most pessimistic consumers were found in Hungary, Cyprus and Greece. The long-term average in these countries stood at -30.

Consumer confidence in the EU and the US (three-monthly average)

Consumer confidence in the EU and the US (three-monthly average)

Consumer confidence stable in US

In the EU, the index has shown a gradual upward trend since 2003. This was not the case in North America, where the 2007 consumer confidence index was approximately the same as in 2003. It must be kept in mind that the definitions of the European and American indicator are not completely identical.

Pauline Sijrier