Dutch households spent 2.6 percent more on goods and services in May than twelve months previously. This almost equals the increase in April. Consumers spent more on durable goods, such as clothes, shoes, washing machines, television sets and computers. Consumption figures have been adjusted for price changes and differences in the shopping day pattern.
Household spending on durable goods was 6.7 percent up on May 2007. With a cutback of 3.5 percent in March and a modest 0.1 percent increase in April, consumers appeared very reluctant to spend money on durable goods. Durable consumer goods are notoriously sensitive to economic ups and downs.
Clothes and shoes in particular were in high demand in May. In March and April, Dutch consumers spent far less on these items relative to one year previously. It is rather likely that the erratic course of the purchase behaviour of Dutch consumers is partly caused by the weather conditions over the past months. The beautiful weather in May was preceded by unusually cold and unsettled weather conditions in spring.
Consumption of food, drinks and tobacco hardly changed in May relative to May 2007. Household spending on services increased by 2.5 percent, largely due to the introduction of an excess policy in health care insurance early 2008. As a result, consumers started to pay more for medical services.
Domestic household consumption (volume)