Decline household consumption slightly less substantial

Household spending on goods and services in December 2011 was 1.3 percent down on twelve months previously. The decline is slightly less substantial than in the preceding months. Consumption figures are adjusted for price changes and differences in the shopping-day pattern.

Spending on goods was nearly 3 percent below the level of one year previously. This is mainly due to the considerable decline in natural gas consumption. Households used less gas, because the weather in December 2011 was relatively mild compared to the cold that swept the country in December 2010. If the level of natural gas consumption had been the same, household consumption would have been  approximately equal to the level of one year previously.

Spending on food, drinks and tobacco was nearly 1 percent up, after a period of six months, in which consumers spent less on food. Spending on durable consumer goods was also 1 percent up. In the preceding months, spending on durable consumer goods had been considerably lower. Consumers bought more new cars, but spending on clothes also improved.

The Household Consumption Radar shows the conditions for household consumption. Just as in January, these conditions did not alter much in February.

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.