According to Statistics Netherlands, Dutch households spent 0.1 percent less on goods and services in April 2014 than in April 2013. Just as in the preceding three months of 2014, households used far less natural gas in April than twelve months previously.
Consumption figures have been adjusted for price changes and differences in the shopping-day pattern.
Gas consumption down in April too
Household spending on food, drinks and tobacco products was 3.2 percent up in April. Households also spent more (3.8 percent) on durable goods, e.g. clothing and passenger cars. Household spending on services was 0.9 percent up from twelve months previously, spending on other goods (including natural gas) was 11.4 percent down from twelve months previously. Spending on gas is attributed to the month in which the consumption is realised.
Domestic household consumption (volume, adjusted for shopping-days)
Circumstances for consumption deteriorate marginally
The Household Consumption Radar shows that circumstances for consumption have deteriorated marginally in June 2014. This is mainly due to the fact that manufacturers are more negative about future employment in their branch and consumers are more pessimistic about their personal financial situation in the future. By means of six indicators, the Household Consumption Radar shows whether circumstances for Dutch household consumption have become more or less favourable.
Higher exports and investments
Private sector investments, exports and consumer spending are important contributors to economic growth. In 2014, consumer spending still contributes negatively to economic growth, whereas private sector investments and exports contributed positively to economic growth. The volume of private sector investments was 5.8 percent higher in April 2014 than in April 2013. Investments grew substantially for the seventh consecutive month. Statistics Netherlands announced earlier that exports of goods grew in the first months of 2014. The lower demand for natural gas, on the other hand, slowed down export growth.
More figures can be found in dossier Business cycle.For more information on economic indicators, the reader is referred to the Economic Monitor.