Major background variables

Consumer confidence (and its underlying component indicators) can be determined for all Dutch consumers. Quarterly figures can be broken down by subpopulation. In this article, the following breakdowns are considered:

• Labour market situation: employed or unemployed
• Income as stated by the respondent: low, middle, high
• Gender: male or female
• Level of education: lower, middle or higher
• Age: 15-44 yrs, 45-64 yrs or over-65

A step-by-step linear regression analysis shows which factor was most decisive for the consumer confidence index in the first quarter of 2008. The situation on the labour market and the respondent’s income position are the most important factors. Gender, education level and age appear to be less relevant. Quarterly figures of the CCO are not corrected for seasonal variation.