Consumer spending slightly up

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According to figures released by Statistics Netherlands (CBS), Dutch consumer spending was 2.7 percent up in October 2016 from October 2015. Consumers spent more on durable goods, like clothes and household appliances. The CBS Consumption Radar shows that circumstances for Dutch household consumption are less favourable in December than in October.

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

Dutch consumers spend more on clothes and household appliances

In October, Dutch consumers spent more on durable goods like clothes, shoes, household appliances and home furnishing articles. Spending on food, beverages and tobacco products was 2.7 percent up.

Last week, CBS already reported that - adjusted for the shopping-day pattern – retail turnover was 5.4 percent up in October on a year-on-year basis. Turnover generated by clothing shops declined as a result of the relatively mild weather conditions in September, but clothing shops reported a strong turnover growth in October.

Dutch households spending on other goods (including natural gas) rose by 0.2 percent.

Household spending on services - accounting for over half of total domestic consumer spending - increased by 1.7 percent relative to October 2015. These services include house rent, public transport, visits to restaurants or hairdressers and insurance premiums.

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

Consumer climate less favourable in December than in October

CBS publishes figures about circumstances for household consumption on a monthly basis. Household consumption is affected by consumers’ expectations, developments on the labour market and the personal financial situation of consumers.

On balance, circumstances for Dutch household consumption are slightly less favourable in December than in October, according to Statistics Netherlands’ Household Consumption Radar. This is mainly due to lower share prices and the fact that consumers were less positive about their future financial situation. On the other hand, they are more optimistic about future unemployment.

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