Modest decline household spending due to higher natural gas consumption

Household spending on goods and services was 0,3 percent down in March 2013 from March 2012, a modest decline compared with the preceding months. This was predominantly due to a higher consumption of natural gas as a result of the exceptionally cold weather. Without the effects of the cold weather conditions, the contraction in March would have been approximately 2 percentage points higher. Consumption figures have been adjusted for price changes and differences in the shopping-day pattern.

Household spending on durable items was 11.7 percent below the level of twelve months previously. Car sales were most dramatically down, but spending on DIY articles, clothing and shoes was also considerably down. Household spending on food, drinks and tobacco was marginally up (0.2 percent). Spending on services was 0.5 percent below the level recorded twelve months previously.

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. May’s  Household Consumption radar shows improvements as well as deteriorations, but, on balance, circumstances for consumption were slightly less unfavourable than in the preceding month.

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.