Dutch consumers more apprehensive about the economic situation

18/09/2014 09:30

The mood among Dutch consumers deteriorated marginally in September. According to Statistics Netherlands, the consumer confidence indicator fell by 1 point to -7. In the past two months, consumers became far more apprehensive about the economic climate, possibly as a result of the tense international situation. Their willingness-to-buy remained stable.

With -7, the consumer confidence indicator is currently slightly 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  of -44.

Consumer confidence, seasonally adjusted

Consumer confidence, seasonally adjusted

Negative about economic climate

Confidence in the general economic climate deteriorated further in September. The component indicator Economic climate dropped 5 points to -2. Pessimism prevailed again, after six months in which optimists constituted the majority.

Willingness-to-buy fairly stable

Consumers’ willingness-to-buy remained fairly stable in September relative to August. . The component indicator climbed 1 point to -11. Consumers were slightly more pessimistic about their personal financial situation in the next 12 months, whereas their opinions about their personal financial situation over the past 12 months improved marginally. Consumers also thought the time to buy expensive items, like washing machines and TV sets, was slightly less unfavourable than in the preceding month.

Consumers’ expectations about future unemployment

Consumers’ expectations about future unemployment

Improving expectations about further unemployment

Having a paid job is crucial for consumers’ willingness-to-buy. Although Dutch consumers have been very pessimistic about future developments in unemployment for a long time, the mood has lifted over the past twelve months.

In September, 38 percent of respondents expects unemployment to rise in the next 12 months, whereas 31 percent anticipates a decline. This is consistent with the latest unemployment figures. Statistics Netherlands also announces today that unemployment fell further in August.

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.