With a score of + 24 in January, the consumer confidence indicator is significantly above its long-term average over the past two decades (- 3). The indicator reached an all-time high in January 2000 (+ 36) and an all-time low in March 2013 (- 41). Consumer confidence has fluctuated between + 23 and + 26 for nearly a year now.
Mood about economic climate unchanged
Consumer confidence in the economic climate has not changed in January. This component indicator of consumer confidence remains at + 45. Opinions on the economic climate in the coming twelve months have improved marginally, but consumers are slightly less positive about the economic climate in the past twelve months.
Consumers’ willingness to buy has decreased slightly in January. This component indicator of consumer confidence stands at + 11, down from + 12 in December. Consumers are slightly less positive about their personal financial situation as well as about buying expensive, durable items.
Record number of consumers expect unemployment to decline
Expectations about future unemployment are improving further. Nearly 65 percent of respondents expect unemployment to decline in the coming 12 months, whereas over 11 percent anticipate an increase. The balance of positive and negative answers is + 53. This is the highest measured balance so far.
Last week, Statistics Netherlands (CBS) also published new labour force figures. According to the definition of the International Labour Organisation (ILO), unemployment declined further in December.