According to figures released by Statistics Netherlands today, Dutch consumer spending on goods and services was up by 1.1 percent in May 2015 on the same month last year. Consumers spent more on home furnishings and household appliances. Consumption grew slightly less than in April. July’s consumer confidence index declined somewhat relative to June.
Consumption figures have been adjusted for price changes and differences in the shopping-day pattern.
Dutch consumers spent more on home furnishings and household appliances
Dutch consumers spent 2.4 percent more on food, drinks and tobacco products in May than last year. Household spending on durable goods was 0.7 percent higher. Consumers also spent more on home furnishings and household appliances. This coincides with the improvement of the housing market. Consumers also used more natural gas than one year previously. However, the increase is considerably smaller than in the previous four months.
Household spending on services - accounting for more than half of total domestic consumer spending - grew by 0.8 percent. Services include rent, public transport, visits to restaurants or hairdressers and insurance premiums.
Circumstances for consumption in July comparable to May
According to Statistics Netherlands’ Household Consumption Radar, circumstances for Dutch household consumption in July are on balance nearly the same as in May. In June, circumstances were somewhat better. By means of six indicators, the Household Consumption Radar shows whether circumstances for Dutch consumption have improved or become less favourable.
Circumstances for Dutch household consumption are somewhat less favourable in July relative to June. This is because Dutch share prices rose less than one month previously. Dutch consumers were also more negative about future unemployment than last month.
Consumer confidence slightly lower
The mood among consumers has declined slightly in July 2015 compared to June. Consumer confidence fell by 2 points to 4 in July. The decrease is caused by the fact that consumers are considerably less optimistic about the economic climate.
Consumer confidence fell to 4 in July, which is far above its long-term average over the past two decades (- 8). The highest confidence level ever obtained was 27 in April 2000. The lowest level was reached in February 2013 when consumer confidence dipped to - 44.
Consumers less positive about the economic climate, willingness to buy increases
Consumers are less optimistic about the economy in July than they were in June. The component indicator Economic climate fell from 21 in June to 12 in July, because consumers were less positive about the economic situation both in the next and in the past 12 months.
Consumers’ willingness to buy is marginally less negative. This component indicator of consumer confidence was - 3 in June, versus - 2 in July.
More figures can be found in dossier Business cycle.
For more information on economic indicators, see the Economic Monitor.