In August, household consumption on goods and services rose by 2.1 percent relative to the same month last year. With 3.7 percent, consumption growth in July was even higher. According to the latest figures published by Statistics Netherlands, the combined consumption growth in July and August was higher than the average of the first six months of 2007, when growth was curbed by the low gas consumption.
Consumer spending on food considerably up
With 3.1 percent, consumer spending on food, drinks and tobacco grew remarkably in August. In addition, household spending on durable consumer goods increased 1.8 percent. Car sales went up and households spent 2.1 percent more on services compared to one year ago.
Sustained period of consumption growth
Household consumption has grown continuously since the beginning of 2005. In the first six months of 2007, consumption growth was tempered by the low consumption of natural gas owing to the mild weather conditions. In the summer months of June, July and August, however, gas consumption is fairly irrelevant. Consumption growth in summer was back to last year’s level.