Consumer spending up because of increased gas consumption
Dutch households spent 0.4 percent more on goods and services in January 2009 than in the same month one year previously. Spending on goods increased by 0.7 percent, spending on services equalled the level of January 2008. Consumption figures are adjusted for price changes and differences in the shopping-day pattern.
Increased gas consumption largely accounted for the increase in consumer spending. Due to the cold weather conditions in January 2009, consumers used more gas to heat their homes. Consumer spending on food, drinks and tobacco increased by 0.8 percent.
Household spending on durable goods was 5.6 percent down. This is the most substantial decrease in the past five years. The demand for cars and home furnishing articles diminished relative to one year previously. Spending on this cyclically sensitive category already decreased marginally in the last three months of 2008. The Economic Survey shows that approximately one out of every three consumers consider to cut back primarily on clothing, shoes, cars and other durable goods, if they face loss of income.
Domestic household consumption (volume)