Consumers more positive
The mood among Dutch consumers has improved in August compared to July. According to Statistics Netherlands, the consumer confidence indicator rose by 2 points to + 6 and is back at the June level. The rise in consumer confidence is mainly due the fact that consumers are more positive about the economic climate.
Consumer confidence rose to + 6 in August, i.e. far above its long-term average over the past two decades (- 8). The indicator reached its highest level ever in April 2000 (+ 27) and its lowest level in February 2013 (- 44).
More optimism about the economy
Confidence in the economic climate in general improved considerably in August relative to July. This component indicator rose from + 12 in July to + 20 in August. Consumers’ opinions about economic developments over the past and the next 12 months improved.
Consumers’ willingness-to-buy was slightly more negative in August than in July. This component indicator of consumer confidence fell to - 3. This is mainly due to the fact that consumers were somewhat more negative about their financial situation over the past 12 months. They also think the time is less favourable to buy expensive, durable items, like washing machines, TV sets and furniture.
Consumers expect unemployment to decline
Consumers’ expectations about future unemployment improved considerably and are positive, just as in June. More than 40 percent of respondents expect unemployment to decline over the next 12 months, whereas more than 27 percent anticipate an increase. The balance of positive and negative answers is +13. Statistics Netherlands also reports today that unemployment has fallen in July. Having a paid job is crucial for consumers’ willingness-to-buy.
More figures can be found in dossier Business cycle.
For more information on economic indicators, see the Economic Monitor.