Household spending in March 2011 was 0.2 percent up on March 2010. Spending on goods decreased by 1.3 percent, whereas spending on services increased by 1.5 percent. Consumption figures are adjusted for price changes and differences in the shopping-day pattern.
Household spending on durable consumer goods increased by 0.4 percent in March, considerably below the growth level of 3.9 percent in February. Although consumers spent more on new cars, computers and shoes, the growth was less substantial than in February. Spending on clothes, furniture and other home furnishing articles declined in March and to a larger extend than in February. Consumer spending on food, drinks and tobacco shrank by 1.8 percent in March.
Overall household spending has continually been higher than twelve months previously for a year now, but in recent months growth has been very modest. The Household Consumption Radar shows the conditions for consumption growth. In 2010, conditions improved gradually, but in the first four months of 2011 conditions hardly changed. Subsequently, conditions for consumption deteriorated in May.
Domestic household consumption (volume, adjusted for shopping-days)
More figures can be found in dossier Business cycle.