Consumer spending up by nearly 3 percent in July

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According to figures released by Statistics Netherlands (CBS), Dutch consumer spending was 2.8 percent up in July 2017 from July 2016. The growth rate has been above 2 percent for already four months in a row. Consumers mainly spent more on home furnishing articles.

The CBS Consumption Radar shows that circumstances for Dutch household consumption are somewhat less favourable in September than in July.

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

Dutch consumers spending more on home furnishings

In July, Dutch consumers spent nearly 7 percent more on durable goods such as clothing and home furnishing articles. Consumer spending on food, beverages and tobacco products was up by nearly 2 percent on one year previously. Furthermore, consumers spent almost 1 percent more on the category ‘other goods’.

Last week, CBS already reported that - adjusted for the shopping-day pattern - retail turnover was 4.5 percent up in July on a year-on-year basis. The volume of sales grew by nearly 4 percent. 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 over 2 percent compared to July 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 goods6.8
Food; drinks and tobacco1.9
Other goods (e.g. gas)0.6

Consumer climate less favourable in September than in July

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. Although the Radar indicators show a strong correlation with household consumption, improved circumstances are not necessarily translated into increased growth.

According to the CBS Consumption Radar, circumstances for Dutch household consumption are less favourable in September than in July. This is mainly due to Dutch consumers becoming less positive about their future financial situation, and Dutch share prices rising less sharply on an annual basis.

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