Household consumption almost 2 percent up in October

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According to figures released by Statistics Netherlands (CBS), Dutch household consumption was 1.7 percent up in October 2017 over October 2016. The growth rate is somewhat lower than in previous months. Consumers mainly spent more on services and home furnishing articles. Spending on natural gas was significantly lower.

The CBS Consumption Radar shows that circumstances for Dutch household consumption are about the same in December as in October.

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

Dutch consumers spend more on services

Consumer spending on services - accounting for over half of total domestic consumer expenditure - rose by over 2 percent compared to October 2016. These services include house rent, public transport, visits to restaurants or hairdressers and insurance premiums.

In addition, Dutch consumers spent almost 2 percent more on durable goods such as home furnishing articles. However, they spent less on clothing, footwear and leather products. Consumer spending on food, beverages and tobacco products was 1.7 percent up from one year previously.

Last week, CBS already reported that - adjusted for the shopping-day pattern - retail turnover was almost 2 percent up in October year-on-year. The volume of sales grew by almost 1 percent. This number was also adjusted for the shopping-day pattern.

Lastly, consumers spent 0.5 percent less on the category ‘other goods’. Spending on natural gas was lower than in October last year due to the relatively warm weather in October 2017.

Domestic household consumption by category (volume, adjusted for shopping-days), October 2017
 % change
Durable consumer goods1.9
Food; drinks and tobacco1.7
Other goods (e.g. gas)-0.5

Consumer climate in December the same as in October

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 about the same in December as in October. Dutch consumers were slightly more positive about their own financial situation in the next twelve months. On the other hand, manufacturers’ expectations on future employment were less positive.

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