Decline household consumption less substantial

Domestic household spending on goods and services was 1.0 percent down in December 2012 from December 2011. Household consumption has been continuously down from twelve months previously for eighteen months now, but the decrease in December was obviously smaller than in November. With 3.0 percent, the decline in November was the most substantial in more than three years. Consumption figures have been adjusted for price changes and differences in the shopping-day pattern.

Spending on durable items was 2.0 percent below the level of twelve months previously, but in November and October, spending on durable items had fallen by more than 10 percent. The less substantial decline in December is partly due to the amount of cars sold. Car sales were considerably lower in December than twelve months previously, but the decline was less substantial than in the preceding months. Traditionally, Dutch car sales tend to be at a low level in December, as consumers prefer buying new cars registered at the beginning of the calendar year.

Household spending on food, drinks and tobacco was marginally higher than in December 2011 (0.3 percent). Consumer spending on other goods (e.g. energy and motor fuels) dropped by 2.7 percent. Spending on services was 0.6 percent below the level recorded in December 2011.

By means of six indicators, the Household Consumption Radar shows whether circumstances for Dutch household consumption have become more or less favourable and which factors played a crucial part in these developments. February’s  Household Consumption radar shows that circumstances have deteriorated.

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.