Household spending on goods and services was 2.4 percent down in June 2013 from June 2012. The contraction was somewhat larger than in May (1.9 percent). Natural gas consumption was much higher in May than twelve months previously due to the relatively cold weather conditions. Consumption figures have been adjusted for price changes and differences in the shopping-day pattern.
Consumer spending has declined almost continuously for two years now. Household spending on durable goods fell most notably. In June 2013, households spent 9.9 percent less on durable items than in June 2012. Car sales dropped dramatically, but spending on shoes, home furnishing , household articles and household appliances also declined. Due to a change in tax legislation effective from 1 July 2012, new cars became more expensive. Many consumers anticipated this change and decided to purchase a new car in June 2012.
Spending on food, drinks and tobacco was down by 0.8 percent. Household spending on services was 0.3 percent lower.
By means of six indicators, the Household Consumption Radar shows whether circumstances for Dutch household consumption have become more or less favourable. August’s Household Consumption radar shows that circumstances for consumption were less unfavourable than in July.
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.