Household consumption over 2 percent up

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According to figures released by Statistics Netherlands (CBS), Dutch household consumption was 2.3 percent up in August 2017 over August 2016. The growth rate was slightly lower than in July. The growth rate has been above 2 percent for already four months in a row. Consumers mainly spent more on home furnishing articles and clothing.

The CBS Consumption Radar shows that circumstances for Dutch household consumption are as favourable in October as in August.

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

Dutch consumers spend more on home furnishing, clothing

In August, Dutch consumers spent nearly 6 percent more on durable goods such as clothing and home furnishing articles. Consumer spending on food, beverages and tobacco products was slightly up from one year previously. Furthermore, consumers spent nearly 2 percent more on the category ‘other goods’.

Last week, CBS already reported that - adjusted for the shopping-day pattern - retail turnover was 4.4 percent up in August year-on-year. The volume of sales grew by 3 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 2 percent compared to August 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 goods5.7
Other goods (e.g. gas)1.6
Food; drinks and tobacco0.3

Consumer climate in October almost as favourable as in August

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 similarly favourable in October compared to August. Consumers were more positive about future unemployment. Furthermore, the year-on-year rise in share prices was more substantial. On the other hand, manufacturers’ expectations on future employment were less positive, and consumers were slightly less optimistic on their own financial situation in the next twelve months.

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