Household spending on goods and services was 2.1 percent down in March 2012 on March 2011. Consumer spending has been continuously in decline since the summer of 2011. The decrease in March was more substantial than in the preceding months. Consumption figures have been adjusted for price changes and differences in the shopping-day pattern.
Due to the relatively mild weather in March, households used far less natural gas for heating than in March 2011. Spending on food, drinks and tobacco was 2.9 percent down. Spending on durable consumer goods dropped by 2.4 percent. Consumer spending on new cars and home furnishing articles in particular dropped significantly, but they spent more on clothing and shoes. Spending on services virtually equalled last year’s level.
In case of a reduction in their disposable income, three out of every ten Dutch consumers indicated that they would spend less on holidays, recreation and culture. May’s consumer confidence survey shows that one in ten would spend less on cars and transport. Spending less on clothing and shoes were also indicated by one out of every ten consumers, just as skimping on food, drinks and tobacco.
The Household Consumption Radar shows the conditions for household consumption. These conditions deteriorated across the board in May.
Domestic household consumption (volume, adjusted for shopping-days)
More figures can be found in dossier Business cycle.