Consumer spending up by 1.6 percent in March

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According to figures released by Statistics Netherlands (CBS), Dutch consumer spending was 1.6 percent up in March 2017 from March 2016. The growth rate is slightly higher compared to the preceding month. Consumers mainly spent more on clothing, shoes, home furnishing articles and services.

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

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

Dutch consumers spend more on clothing, home furnishing articles and services

In March, Dutch consumers spent more on durable goods such as clothing, shoes and home furnishing articles. Consumer spending on food, beverages and tobacco products remained the same. Furthermore, consumer spending in the category ‘other goods’ was down from one year previously. Consumers mainly spent less on natural gas.

Last Monday, CBS already reported that - adjusted for the shopping-day pattern - retail turnover was almost 4 percent up in March on a year-on-year basis. The volume of sales grew by approximately 3 percent. Shops selling shoes, leather articles and clothes recorded a higher turnover in March, partly due to the good weather. This number was also adjusted for the shopping-day pattern.

Household spending on services - accounting for over half of total domestic consumer spending - rose by 1.9 percent compared to March 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
Durable consumer goods7
Food; drinks and tobacco0
Other goods (e.g. gas)-4.4

Consumer climate more favourable in May than in March

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 May than in March. This is mainly due to the fact that the mood among Dutch manufacturers about future employment in their sector has improved significantly. Dutch consumers on the other hand were less positive in their labour market expectations for the coming 12 months.

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