Household spending on goods and services was 1.5 percent up in August 2014 from August 2013. This is the largest increase for almost four years, according to Statistics Netherlands.
Prior to the stabilisation and modest growth in the last four months, household consumption had been in decline for nearly three years. Consumption figures have been adjusted for price changes and differences in the shopping-day pattern.
Domestic household consumption (volume, adjusted for shopping-days)
Sharp rise in spending on durables
Household spending on durable goods – for example clothes, shoes and household appliances - was 6.6 percent up in August from twelve months previously. Last week Statistics Netherlands reported continued turnover growth in the non-food sector. August was the best month for clothes shops in the past two years.
Consumers spent 0.9 percent more than in August 2013 on food, drinks and tobacco, but 1.9 percent less on other goods (including natural gas).
Household spending on services grew by 0.9 percent. Services account for more than half the total amount of domestic consumption; these include rent, public transport, restaurants, hairdressers, telephone services and insurance.
Domestic household consumption by category (volume, adjusted for shopping-days), August 2014
Circumstances slightly better for consumption
On balance, circumstances for consumption have improved in October according to the Household Consumption Radar. Dutch manufacturers are less pessimistic about future employment in their sector and consumers are less pessimistic about their personal financial situation. The reduction of the employed labour force compared to one year previously was also smaller.
More figures can be found in dossier Business cycle.
For more information on economic indicators, see the Economic Monitor.