In June 2007, the Dutch – together with the Finns and the Poles – were still among Europe’s most optimistic consumers. Nine months later, optimism has largely evaporated. The decline of the Dutch index was indeed more substantial than on average across Europe. Yet, in March 2008, the Netherlands still held fourth place in the European consumer confidence ranking.
Change in consumer confidence over the period June 2007–March 2008
Drop in Dutch consumer confidence second largest in Europe after Estonia
Dutch consumer confidence according to the European definition had dropped no less than 17 points in March 2008 relative to June 2007, when the Dutch, together with the Finns and the Swedes ranked among the most optimistic consumers in the European Union (EU). The average consumer confidence index for the entire EU dropped 9 points over the past nine months. Only in Estonia (-21 points), the mood indicator declined more and faster than in the Netherlands
Subquestions on consumer confidence, change over the period June 2007–March 2008*
Confidence in economy plummets
The mood deterioration is mainly attributable to consumers’ more negative opinions on the economic situation in general over the twelve months to come. An increasing number of consumers are pessimistic about the future. This applies to nearly all EU countries. The steep drop of the Dutch consumer confidence indicator by 35 points in the span of nine months was unparalleled across the EU. The Netherlands also anticipates a more serious deterioration of employment than the rest of the EU.
Consumer confidence March 2008
Optimism prevail in the Netherlands
Despite the major drop in consumer confidence in the Netherlands in March 2008, optimists were still in the majority, unlike in most other EU countries. The slightly positive mood was largely due to number of consumers who think they can save money in the next twelve months.