After the Fins, the Swedes and the Danes, the Dutch are Europe’s most optimistic consumers. The relatively high level of consumer confidence in the Netherlands was mainly based on positive opinions with regard to savings in the coming year. For twenty-five years now, Dutch consumers have been almost consistently more positive than European consumers on average.
Confidence low in Greece and Romania
In January 2010, the European consumer confidence indicator was 1 in the Netherlands: there were slightly more optimists than pessimists. In Europe as a whole, however, the pessimists were in the majority. The average of the 27 EU countries was -13.
Consumers in Finland, Sweden and Denmark are the most positive by far. The Netherlands follows at a distance. In the other countries of the European Union the pessimists are in the majority. Romanians and Greeks in particular are negative, but in Hungary, Bulgaria, and Lithuania, too, consumers are very sombre.
Consumer confidence EU countries, January 2010
Dutch expect to save in coming year
Dutch consumers were more optimistic in a number of respects at the beginning of this year than the average EU consumer. They were more positive about their own financial situation in the coming 12 months, and about the economic climate in the coming year. The Dutch were also less concerned than the EU as a whole about rising unemployment.
The Dutch stand out most, however, on account of their optimism with respect to being able to put aside money in savings in the coming year. This pushes up Dutch consumer confidence relatively strongly compared with the EU average.
Components of consumer confidence, January 2010
Karin van der Ven
Source: European Union