Consumer spending up by 2.5 percent in December

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According to figures released by Statistics Netherlands (CBS), Dutch consumer spending was 2.5 percent up in December 2016 from December 2015. Consumers spent more on durable goods, like household appliances, home furnishing articles and cars. They also spent significantly more on natural gas, due to a relatively cold December month.

The CBS Consumption Radar shows that circumstances for Dutch household consumption are more favourable in February than in December.

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

Dutch consumers spend more on household appliances, cars and natural gas

In December, Dutch consumers spent more on other goods, mainly on natural gas. Spending in this category was up by 7.3 percent compared to last year. This was mainly because the month December was a lot colder than last year.

Consumers also spent 6.1 percent more on durable goods like household appliances, home furnishing articles and cars. Spending on food, beverages and tobacco products was 1.9 percent down compared to last year.

Last week, CBS already reported that - adjusted for the shopping-day pattern – retail turnover was 2.7 percent up in December on a year-on-year basis.

Household spending on services - accounting for over half of total domestic consumer spending - increased by 1.7 percent relative to December 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
Other goods (e.g. gas)7.3
Durable consumer goods6.1
Food; drinks and tobacco-1.9

Consumer climate more favourable in February than in December

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 more favourable in February than in December, according to Statistics Netherlands’ Household Consumption Radar. This is mainly due to the fact that consumers are more optimistic about future unemployment and due to a favourable development of Dutch share prices. Also, the mood among Dutch manufacturers about future employment in their sector was more positive.

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