According to figures released by Statistics Netherlands today, Dutch consumer spending on goods and services was 1.8 percent up in January 2015 from January 2014. This was the most substantial increase in four years. Consumers spent more on electronic equipment, home furnishing articles and cars. Households also used more natural gas compared to January 2014.
Consumption figures have been adjusted for price changes and differences in the shopping-day pattern.
More spent on electronic equipment, home furnishing articles, cars and gas
Household spending on durable goods, like electronic equipment, home furnishing articles and cars was 4.6 percent higher in January. Last year, car sales were relatively low; the tax advantage for consumers who bought a new car came to an end in January 2014.
Spending on other goods, including energy, was up by 3.7 percent. Consumers used more natural gas than one year previously. The weather was colder in January 2015 than in January 2014. Dutch consumers spent 1.3 percent more on food, drinks and tobacco products than last year.
Household spending on services - accounting for more than half of total domestic consumer spending - grew by 0.5 percent. Services include rent, public transport, restaurants, hairdressers, telephone services and insurance premiums.
Circumstances for consumption improved in March
According to the Statistics Netherlands’ Household Consumption Radar, circumstances for Dutch household consumption improved in March relative to February. Consumers were far less negative about future employment than in February. The growth of the employed labour force on an annual basis was also larger than last month. By means of six indicators, the Household Consumption Radar shows whether circumstances for consumption have become improved or deteriorated.
For more information on economic indicators, see the Economic Monitor.