Household consumption over 3 percent up in March

According to figures released by Statistics Netherlands (CBS), Dutch household consumption was 3.2 percent up in March 2018 over March 2017. The growth rate was higher than in the preceding month, mainly as a result of higher natural gas consumption.

The CBS Consumption Radar shows that circumstances for Dutch household consumption in May are, on balance, somewhat less favourable than in March.

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

Domestic household consumption (volume, adjusted for shopping days) (year-on-year % change)
2014 A-0.2
2014 M0.1
2014 J0
2014 J0.3
2014 A1.5
2014 S-0.5
2014 O0.3
2014 N0.7
2014 D0.6
2015 J2
2015 F2
2015 M2.1
2015 A1.7
2015 M1.3
2015 J2.3
2015 J1.5
2015 A1.4
2015 S2.2
2015 O1.7
2015 N0.8
2015 D0.8
2016 J0.7
2016 F0.4
2016 M1.1
2016 A0.4
2016 M1.9
2016 J0.7
2016 J2.4
2016 A1.5
2016 S1.1
2016 O2.6
2016 N2.8
2016 D2.5
2017 J3.4
2017 F1.5
2017 M1.7
2017 A2.6
2017 M2.5
2017 J2.3
2017 J2.2
2017 A1.9
2017 S2.6
2017 O1.8
2017 N2.4
2017 D1.3
2018 J1.8
2018 F2.8
2018 M3.2

Dutch households consume more natural gas

In March 2018, Dutch consumers spent almost 10 percent more on the category ‘other goods’, such as motor fuels and energy. Spending on natural gas was considerably higher because it was much colder than in March 2017. In February, it was also colder than in the same month last year.

Consumer spending on durable goods such as household appliances, cars and home furnishing articles was over 4 percent higher. Spending on food, beverages and tobacco was 3 percent up compared to March 2017.

Lastly, consumer spending on services - accounting for over half of total domestic consumer expenditure - rose by 1.5 percent relative to March 2017. 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), March 2018 (year-on-year % change)
Other goods (e.g. gas)9.9
Durable consumer goods4.4
Food,drinks and tobacco3

Consumer climate in May slightly less favourable 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. 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 in May are, on balance, slightly less favourable than in March. This is mainly because consumers were less positive about future unemployment.

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


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