Dutch consumer remains optimistic

The index reflecting consumer confidence in the Netherlands hardly changed over the past two months from 14 in July to 15 in August. On average, pessimists marginally outnumbered optimists over the past two decades. The long-term average stands at -3.

Opinions on the general economic situation remained unchanged. Consumers were slightly more optimistic about the economic situation in the past twelve months then they were the month before. On the other hand, they were somewhat less optimistic about the economy in the twelve months to come.

Consumers’ willingness to buy remained virtually unchanged in August. This component indicator is based on three questions, two of which measure the financial situation of the household. Additionally, the consumer is asked whether he/she thinks it is the right time to buy expensive items. Consumers were considerably more positive about their own financial situation in the past twelve months then they were in July. They have not been this positive for more than five years. Consumers’ opinions about their own financial situation in the twelve months to come, on the other hand, changed little. Lastly, consumers thought it was a less favourable time to buy expensive items than a month ago.

The survey was conducted in the first ten working days of the month, i.e. the period running from Wednesday 1 August through Tuesday 14 August. The relation between share prices on the stock market and consumer confidence cannot be determined unequivocally. On Thursday 9 August, the central banks intervened when granting of credit between banks halted. This intervention triggered sharp reactions on the stock market. The turmoil was largely beyond the scope of the survey period.

Consumer confidence, seasonally adjusted

Consumer confidence, seasonally adjusted