The results refer to consumer confidence according to the European harmonised definition. Statistics Netherlands as well as the European Commission (EC) have formulated an indicator for Dutch consumer confidence. The EC indicator is composed of consumers’ opinions on:
• the financial situation over the next twelve months
• the general economic situation
• preparedness to save
• unemployment growth/decline.
This approach entirely focuses on the future, i.e. on the twelve months to come. The February and March figures on Malta were not available when this article was published.
The approach of Statistics Netherlands also includes consumers’ opinions on the past twelve months. Survey participants are divided into those who think the situation has improved – the optimists, those who think the situation has deteriorated – the pessimists – and those who think the situation had neither improved nor deteriorated, the neutrals. The indicators are calculated by subtracting the percentage of pessimists from the percentage of optimists.
The two series differ from one another, but roughly show the same trend.