Steady growth consumer spending

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According to figures released by Statistics Netherlands (CBS), Dutch consumer spending was 1.0 percent up in August 2016 from August 2015. Consumer spending on services rose considerably. The CBS Consumption Radar shows that circumstances for Dutch household consumption are more favourable in October than in August and September.

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

Dutch consumers spend more on services

Household spending on services - accounting for over half of total domestic consumer spending - grew by 1.6 percent relative to August 2015. These services include house rent, public transport, visits to restaurants or hairdressers and insurance premiums.

Consumer spending on food, beverages and tobacco products was 0.4 percent up and spending in the category ‘other goods’ - which includes motor fuels - was 0.2 percent up from one year previously. Spending on durable goods was about the same as one year previously.

Last week, CBS already reported that, on a year-on-year basis, retail turnover was 1.5 percent up in August. The food sector in particular achieved better turnover results. Adjusted for the shopping-day pattern, retail turnover growth would have been less than 1.5 percent.

Domestic household consumption by category (volume, adjusted for shopping-days)
 % change
Food; drinks and tobacco0.4
Other goods (e.g. gas)0.2
Durable consumer goods0.1

Consumer climate more favourable in October than in August

CBS also publishes figures about circumstances for household consumption. Household consumption is affected by consumers’ expectations, their personal financial situation and developments on the job market.

On balance, circumstances for Dutch household consumption are much more favourable in October than in August, according to Statistics Netherlands’ Household Consumption Radar. That is mainly due to Dutch consumers being more positive about their future financial situation. According to the Consumption Radar, house prices and Dutch share prices also developed more positively in October than in August.

The figures presented in this news release are provisional and can be adjusted.