Year-on-year consumer spending up

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According to figures released by Statistics Netherlands (CBS), Dutch consumer spending on goods and services was 0.9 percent up in 2016 from March 2015. The increase is more substantial than in February. Consumer spending on services was noticeably higher in March.

The CBS Consumption Radar shows that circumstances for Dutch household consumption are somewhat more favourable in May than in April and March.

Consumption figures are adjusted for price changes and differences in the shopping-day pattern. This year Easter fell in March, in 2015 in April.

Dutch consumers spend more on services

Consumers spent more on services in March, in particular in hotels and restaurants and on recreational and cultural services. Services account for more than half of total domestic consumer spending.
In addition, consumer spending on food, beverages and tobacco products was more than 1 percent up from one year previously. Spending on durable goods, on the other hand, was marginally down from one year previously; spending in the category ‘other goods’ - which includes natural gas - was slightly higher.

Some ten days ago, CBS already reported that the retail sector boasted a year-on-year turnover growth by 4 percent in March 2016. Turnover generated in the food sector was distinctly higher in 2016 because Easter fell in March this year.

Domestic household consumption by category, March (volume, adjusted for shopping-days)
 % change
Food; drinks and tobacco1.1
Other goods (e.g. gas)0.7
Durable consumer goods-0.6

Consumer climate more favourable in May than in March

On balance, circumstances for Dutch household consumption were more favourable in May than in March, according to Statistics Netherlands’ Household Consumption Radar. This is mainly because consumers are less negative about future unemployment and Dutch manufacturers are less pessimistic about staff developments in their sector.

The numbers in this publication are provisional and can be adjusted.