Dutch households spent 0,7 percent more on goods and services in December 2013 than in December 2012. In November, domestic consumption had also increased (0,3 percent) relative to one year previously. The modest increase over the last months of 2013 was preceded by nearly two and a half years of decline. Consumption figures have been adjusted for price changes and differences in the shopping-day pattern.
Household spending on durable goods rose by 5.8 percent in December. In November, spending on durable goods had also grown substantially (4.5 percent). Car sales were considerably higher than twelve months previously, but car sales were at a relatively low level during the last months of 2012. 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.
Household spending on food, drinks and tobacco grew by 0.6 percent in December. Spending on other goods, e.g. energy, was down by 1.9 percent relative to twelve months previously. Household spending on services was 0.1 percent below the level recorded in December 2012.
By means of six indicators, the Household Consumption Radar shows whether circumstances for Dutch household consumption have become more or less favourable. In February 2014, the radar shows that circumstances for consumption were slightly more favourable than in January.
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.