Year-on-year consumer spending 0.1 percent up

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According to figures released by Statistics Netherlands (CBS), Dutch consumer spending on goods and services was 0.1 percent up in February 2016 from February 2015, the smallest increase since November 2014. Consumers spent less on goods in February, but more on services.

The CBS Consumption Radar shows that circumstances for Dutch household consumption are less favourable in March and April than in February.

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

Dutch consumers spend less on goods, more on services

Spending on durable goods was almost 2 percent down from one year previously, but consumers again spent more on home furnishing articles. Last Friday, CBS already reported that the retail sector boasted a year-on-year turnover growth by more than 2 percent in February 2016. If the leap year effect is not taken into account, turnover results would have been below the level of February 2015.

Spending in the category ‘other goods’ - which includes natural gas - was 1 percent below the level of one year previously. Spending on food, beverages and tobacco products was 0.6 percent lower. Household spending on services - accounting for more than half of total domestic consumer spending - increased, by 1 percent. These services include house rent, public transport, visits to restaurants or hairdressers and insurance premiums.

Domestic household consumption by category, February (volume, adjusted for shopping-days)
 % change
Food; drinks and tobacco-0.6
Other goods (e.g. gas)-1
Durable consumer goods-1.7

Consumer climate less favourable in April than in February

On balance, circumstances for Dutch household consumption were less favourable in April than in February, according to Statistics Netherlands’ Household Consumption Radar. This is mainly due to the growth rate of Dutch share prices, which is slowing down on an annual basis. Dutch manufacturers also were more negative about future employment in their sector.