Household spending on goods and services was 1.3 percent down in February 2012 on twelve months previously. The decline was about the same as in the preceding months. Consumption figures are adjusted for price changes and differences in the shopping-day pattern.
Due to the cold winter, households used considerably more natural gas in February 2012 than in February 2011, which was relatively mild. If the consumption of natural gas had been the same as in 2011, total household consumption would have slumped nearly 3 percent.
Despite the higher consumption of natural gas, spending on goods was nearly 3 percent below the level of one year previously. Spending on durable consumer goods was 9 percent down. Among other things, consumers spent less on new cars. Spending on food, drinks and tobacco was nearly 2 percent down. Spending on services was marginally lower than twelve months previously.
The Household Consumption Radar shows the conditions for household consumption. These conditions improved marginally in April.
Domestic household consumption (volume, adjusted for shopping-days)
More figures can be found in dossier Business cycle.