Steady growth consumer spending

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According to figures released by Statistics Netherlands (CBS), Dutch consumer spending was 0.9 percent up in September 2016 from September 2015. Consumer mainly spent more on services. The CBS Consumption Radar shows that circumstances for Dutch household consumption are more favourable in November than in September, but less favourable than in October.

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

Dutch consumers mainly spend more on services

Household spending on services - accounting for over half of total domestic consumer spending - grew by 1.6 percent relative to September 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 0.8 percent up and spending on durable goods went up by 0,4 percent compared to one year previously. Spending on cars in particular was higher. Earlier this week, CBS already reported that retail turnover was 1.1 percent up in September year-on-year. Adjusted for the shopping-day pattern, retail turnover growth was lower compared to previous year.

Lastly, spending in the category ‘other goods’ – which includes natural gas, was down by 2.2 percent compared to the previous year. September 2016 was a relatively warm month.

Domestic household consumption by category (volume, adjusted for shopping-days)
 % change
Food; drinks and tobacco0.8
Durable consumer goods0.4
Other goods (e.g. gas)-2.2

Consumer climate more favourable in November than in September

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

On balance, circumstances for Dutch household consumption are more favourable in November than in September, according to Statistics Netherlands’ Household Consumption Radar. That is mainly due to Dutch consumers being more positive about their future financial situation in November compared to September. Consumers are also more positive about future unemployment. On the other hand, the development of Dutch share prices was less favourable in November’s Household Consumption Radar.

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