Early 2011, Dutch consumers are more optimistic about future unemployment than in the same period last year, but not all Europeans are so positive. In half of all European countries, consumers were more optimistic, whereas in the other half they were more pessimistic, but in nearly all European countries, the proportion of consumers anticipating unemployment growth has declined relative to one year ago.
Consumer confidence, change over the period January 2011–January 2010
Mood varies widely across Europe
The differences in consumer confidence between the European countries have grown. Consumer confidence improved most in Germany, but is also significantly higher in the Baltic states and Hungary. In Greece, Portugal and the United Kingdom, on the other hand, consumer confidence declined further.
For the European Union (EU) as a whole, consumer confidence remained unchanged. In the Netherlands, the mood indicator improved by 5 points. The Netherlands is found almost at the bottom of the list of optimistic countries.
EU consumers obviously more optimistic about future unemployment
The consumer confidence index has risen in the Netherlands, because the Dutch think employment prospects have improved. The number of people anticipating unemployment growth is obviously smaller than a year ago. The same applies to the rest of Europe. Yet, in January 2011, Europeans thinking unemployment will drop further are still outnumbered by those anticipating unemployment growth.
In nearly all European countries, people expect improvement. The Germans are most optimistic. Only in Spain, Portugal, the United Kingdom and Greece people were pessimistic about future employment. This picture is reflected in the actual developments in the various countries. In the course of 2010, unemployment declined in Germany, Belgium and the Netherlands. In Spain, Portugal and Greece unemployment increased further and in the United Kingdom the level of unemployment remained invariably high.
Employment prospects, change over the period January 2011–January 2010