Households spend less on goods and services

Household spending on goods and services was 1.5 percent down in July 2012 from July 2011.The decline is more substantial than in June. This was partly due to a change in tax legislation effective from 1 July, making new cars more expensive. Many consumers anticipated the change and decided to purchase a new car in June. Consumption figures have been adjusted for price changes and differences in the shopping-day pattern.

Spending on durable consumer goods in July 2012 was 6.5 percent below the level of  July 2011. Apart from cars, consumers also spent less on clothing and shoes, home furnishing articles and consumer electronics than twelve months previously.

Spending on food, drinks and tobacco was up by 2.9 percent relative to July 2011, the most substantial increase in four years. Spending on services was almost equal to the level of July 2011. Household spending on other goods (e.g. motor fuels) fell by 4.2 percent.

The Household Consumption Radar shows the conditions for household consumption. These conditions were just as unfavourable in September as in August.

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.

For more information on economic indicators, the reader is referred to the Economic Monitor.