The European Commission (EC) and Statistics Netherlands have independently defined the notion of consumer confidence. The EC indicator is composed of consumers’ opinions on their own financial situation, the economic situation in general, willingness to save and employment in the twelve months to come. This approach entirely focuses on future developments.
The approach endorsed by Statistics Netherlands also takes into account the consumer’s current financial situation and his/her opinion about the situation in the past twelve months. Survey participants have three options: the situation has improved (the ‘optimists’), deteriorated (the ‘pessimists’) or remained stable. The indicators are calculated by subtracting the percentage of pessimists from the percentage of optimists.
The two series are different, but roughly present the same picture. In the previously published article Two indicators for the Dutch consumer confidence these differences are explained in more detail.