Consumer spending up by almost 1 percent in February

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According to figures released by Statistics Netherlands (CBS), Dutch consumer spending was 0.8 percent up in February 2017 from February 2016. The growth rate has slowed down compared to the preceding months. Consumers spent more on food, beverages and tobacco products.

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

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

Dutch consumers spend more on food and home furnishing articles

Dutch consumers spent 1.5 percent more on food, beverages and tobacco products than in February. Consumer spending on durable goods, like home furnishing articles, also rose marginally.

Last week, CBS already reported that - adjusted for the shopping-day pattern - retail turnover was 4 percent up in February on a year-on-year basis. The volume of sales increased 1.5 percent and was also adjusted for the shopping-day pattern.

Dutch consumer spending in the category ‘other goods’ remained fairly stable. Natural gas consumption was down relative to last year.

Household spending on services - accounting for over half of total domestic consumer spending - rose by 0.9 percent compared to February 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
Food; drinks and tobacco1.5
Durable consumer goods0.2
Other goods (e.g. gas)0.1

Consumer climate more favourable in April than in February

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.

According to the CBS Consumption Radar, circumstances for Dutch household consumption are more favourable in April than in February. This is mainly due to the fact that the mood among Dutch manufacturers about future employment in their sector has improved significantly. Dutch share prices have also risen more rapidly than one year previously and Dutch consumers were also more positive about their personal financial situation.

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