Consumer spending up by 2.7 percent in January

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According to figures released by Statistics Netherlands (CBS), Dutch consumer spending was 2.7 percent up in January 2017 from January 2016. The growth rate is roughly the same as in the preceding three months. Consumers spent more on home furnishing articles. In December as well as in January, natural gas consumption was significantly higher. This was mainly due to the relatively low temperatures. Household consumption statistics are published on a monthly basis around the 15th working day.

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

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

Dutch consumers spend more on home furnishing articles and natural gas

In January Dutch consumers spent more in the category ‘other goods’, mainly on natural gas. Spending in this category was up by 6.7 percent compared to last year, largely caused by the relatively cold weather conditions in January.

Consumers spent 5 percent more on durable goods like home furnishing articles and cars. Spending on food, beverages and tobacco products was 2.1 percent up from January last year.

Last week, CBS already reported that - adjusted for the shopping-day pattern - retail turnover was 5 percent up in January on a year-on-year basis.

Household spending on services - accounting for over half of total domestic consumer spending - increased by 1.2 percent relative to January 2016. 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)6.7
Durable consumer goods5
Food; drinks and tobacco2.1

Consumer climate more favourable in March than in January

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

On balance, circumstances for Dutch household consumption are more favourable in March than in January, according to Statistics Netherlands’ Household Consumption Radar. This is mainly due to the greatly improved mood among Dutch manufacturers about future employment in their sector. Dutch share prices have also risen more rapidly than one year previously and Dutch consumers expect unemployment to fall further.