Household consumption growth remains modest

Household spending on goods and services was 0.3 percent higher in May 2011 than in May 2010, approximately the same as in the four preceding months. Relative to one year previously, spending on services increased by 1.1 percent, whereas spending on goods decreased by 0.6 percent. Consumption figures are adjusted for price changes and differences in the shopping-day pattern.

Dutch consumers spent 2.3 percent more on durable goods than in May 2010. Car sales in particular improved. Spending on furniture and household items, on the other hand, declined. The energy bill for the average Dutch household was considerably lower. This can be attributed to the weather. This year, temperatures were high in May, whereas May 2010 was quite cool. Household spending on food, drinks and tobacco hardly changed compared to May 2010.

Consumption growth over the first months of 2011 has been quite modest. The Household Consumption Radar shows the conditions for consumption growth. After gradual improvement in 2010, conditions barely changed over the first seven months of 2011.

Domestic household consumption (volume, adjusted for shopping-days)

Domestic household consumption (volume, adjusted for shopping-days)

More figures can be found in dossier Business cycle.