Dutch consumers more pessimistic

20/08/2014 15:00

The mood among Dutch consumers deteriorated in August. According to Statistics Netherlands, the consumer confidence indicator fell by 4 points to -6. Consumers are far less optimistic about the future economic developments, possibly as a result of the tense political situation on the international level.

With -6, the consumer confidence indicator is currently still above its long-term average over the past twenty years (-8). In April 2000, the indicator reached an all-time high of 27 and in February 2013 the indicator reached an all-time low (-44).

Consumer confidence, seasonally adjusted

Consumer confidence, seasonally adjusted

Dutch consumers far less optimistic about economic climate

Consumers have been positive about the general economic climate over the past six months, but, in August, their confidence was undermined. The component indicator Economic climate dropped 8 points to 3, because Dutch consumers are far less optimistic about the economic climate over the next 12 months. Consumers’ opinions about the economic climate over the past 12 months remained unchanged.

Willingness-to-buy marginally down

Consumers’ willingness-to-buy deteriorated somewhat in August. The component indicator fell 2 points to -12. Consumers were more pessimistic about their personal financial situation in the next 12 months. Their opinions about their personal financial situation over the past 12 months were about the same in August as in July. Consumers also thought the time to buy expensive items, like washing machines and TV sets, was as unfavourable as in the preceding month.

Consumers’ expectations about future unemployment

Consumers’ expectations about future unemployment

Less afraid to become unemployed

Having a paid job is crucial for consumers’ willingness-to-buy. Although Dutch consumers have been very pessimistic about future unemployment for a long time, the mood has lifted over the past twelve months. In August, 38 percent of respondents expected unemployment to rise further in the next 12 months, whereas 30 percent anticipated a decline. Statistics Netherlands announced earlier that unemployment fell in May and June and that more people found work.

Consumer confidence

Consumer confidence

More figures can be found in dossier Business cycle.

For more information on economic indicators, the reader is referred to the Economic Monitor.