Household consumption still at low level

Household spending on goods and services was 3.4 percent lower in September than in September 2008. In August, spending dropped by 3.8 percent. Domestic household consumption has been lower than one year previously for nine months running. Consumption figures are adjusted for price changes and differences in the shopping-day pattern.

Household spending on goods was 5.4 percent down on one year previously. Over 1 percentage point of this reduction was caused by the fact that, since this school year, study books for secondary education are available free of charge and therefore no longer included in household consumption. Households spent 1.6 percent less on services. Consumers spent far less in the sector hotels and restaurants than in September 2008.

Dutch consumers remained cautious about buying durable consumer goods. Sales of durable consumer goods dropped by 4.9 percent relative to one year previously. Consumers in particular cut back spending on household appliances and furniture.

September 2009 was the first month, in which households spent more on new cars than in the same month last year. Despite the increase in the number of cars sold to consumers, total car sales were far below the September 2008 level, because companies invested far less in new lease cars than one year previously. 

The volume of spending on food, drinks and tobacco was 1.1 percent down on one year previously. Households have skimped on this category of articles for nearly eighteen months now.

Domestic household consumption (volume)

Household consumption still at low level