Dutch consumer spending 0.3 percent up

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According to figures released by Statistics Netherlands (CBS) today, Dutch consumer spending on goods and services was 0.3 percent up in November 2015 from November 2014, the lowest increase in 2015 so far. Natural gas consumption declined noticeably in November relative to one year previously. The CBS Consumption Radar shows that circumstances for Dutch household consumption are less favourable in January than in November and December.

Consumption figures have been adjusted for price changes and differences in the shopping-day pattern

Domestic household consumption (volume, adjusted for shopping-days)

Much lower natural gas consumption in November

In November, natural gas consumption in the Netherlands was significantly down from November 2014. As a result, spending in the category ‘other goods’, which includes natural gas, was 1.8 percent down from one year previously.  Temperatures were much higher in November 2015 than in November 2014.

Households also spent less on clothing and shoes, contributing to a lower spending level in the category ‘durable goods’ than one year previously for the first time in 2015. Last Friday, Statistics Netherlands already reported that clothing shops suffered a loss of turnover by more than 11 percent in November. The extent, to which weather conditions gave rise to the turnover loss, cannot be estimated.

On the other hand, spending on food, beverages and tobacco products rose by 1.0 percent. Household spending on services - accounting for more than half of total domestic consumer spending - grew by 0.9 percent. These services include house rent, public transport, visits to restaurants or hairdressers and insurance premiums.

Domestic household consumption by category, November (volume, adjusted for shopping-days)

Circumstances for household consumption less favourable in January than in November

On balance, circumstances for Dutch household consumption were less favourable in January than in November and December, according to Statistics Netherlands’ Household Consumption Radar. This is mainly due to the fact that Dutch manufacturers were less optimistic about future employment in their sector and Dutch consumers were more negative about developments on the labour market and their own personal financial situation.

Today, Statistics Netherlands will also release information on Dutch consumer confidence in January.