Household consumption invariably low

Dutch household spending was 3.6 percent lower in May than in May 2008. The decline in April was in the same order of magnitude. In the past four months, consumption expenditure has been substantially lower than one year previously. Consumption figures are adjusted for price changes and differences in the shopping-day pattern.

Spending on goods was more than 6 percent lower in May than one year previously,  spending on services was reduced by more than 1 percent. Households obviously cut back on spending on durable consumer goods. The volume of spending on this cyclically sensitive category plunged by nearly 11 percent relative to May 2008. Most notably, households curtailed spending on new cars. They also spent less money on clothes, shoes, furniture and household articles.

The volume of spending on food, drinks and tobacco was nearly 4 percent down on one year previously. Households have been skimping on food for a year now.

In addition to volume, the value of consumption expenditure was also smaller in the first five months of 2009 relative to the first five months of 2008. Households put more money aside. In the first five months of 2009, bank deposits exceeded withdrawals from saving accounts by nearly 13 billion euro. This amount is 7 billion euro higher than in the same period of 2008.

Domestic household consumption (volume)

Domestic household consumption (volume)