Important background variables

The consumer confidence index (and its underlying component indicators) for all Dutch consumers is measured on a monthly basis. Quarterly figures can be broken down by various subgroups in the population. The following breakdowns have been taken into consideration in this article:

• Labour market situation: employed or unemployed
• Self-reported income: low, medium, high
• Gender: man or woman
• Education level: low, secondary or high
• Age: 15-44 yrs, 45-64 yrs or 65 yrs and older

On the basis of gradual linear regression analysis the background feature that contributed most to consumer confidence in the third quarter of 2009 was determined. Gender and self-reported income turned out to be important factors in consumer confidence. Labour market situation, education and age appeared to be less important. Quarterly figures of the CCO are not adjusted for seasonal variation.