Marginal consumption growth

Dutch households spent 0,2 percent more on goods and services in November 2013 than in November 2012. This is the first increase in nearly two and a half years. Dutch consumers spent more on durable goods in November, resulting in a modest consumption growth. Consumption figures have been adjusted for price changes and differences in the shopping-day pattern.

Household spending on durable goods rose by 4.6 percent in November relative to twelve months previously. Car sales were considerably higher in November than in November 2012, but car sales were relatively low during the last months of 2012. Clothes and shoe sales were also up in November 2013 compared to twelve months previously. The decline in spending on home furnishing items was less substantial than in the preceding months. Year-on-year consumption developments may be affected by tax measures. On 1 October 2012, the high VAT rate in the Netherlands was raised from 19 to 21 percent. Pending the higher VAT rate, it was convenient for Dutch consumers to buy expensive items in the period prior to October.

Spending on food, drinks and tobacco fell by 1.2 percent. Spending on other goods, e.g. energy, was also down (1.4 percent). Household spending on services was 0.2 percent below the level recorded in November 2012.

By means of six indicators, the Household Consumption Radar shows whether circumstances for Dutch household consumption have become more or less favourable. In January 2014, the radar shows that circumstances for consumption were just about as unfavourable as in December 2013.

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.