Household consumption over 2 percent up in August

According to figures released by Statistics Netherlands (CBS), Dutch household consumption was 2.2 percent up in August 2018 over August 2017. The growth rate was less substantial than in the two previous months. In August 2018, consumers mainly spent more on durable goods, such as household appliances, cars and clothing.

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

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 September-0.5
2014 October0.3
2014 November0.7
2014 December0.6
2015 January2
2015 February2
2015 March2.1
2015 April1.7
2015 May1.3
2015 June2.3
2015 July1.5
2015 August1.4
2015 September2.2
2015 October1.7
2015 November0.8
2015 December0.8
2016 January0.7
2016 February0.4
2016 March1.1
2016 April0.4
2016 May1.9
2016 June0.7
2016 July2.4
2016 August1.5
2016 September1.1
2016 October2.6
2016 November2.8
2016 December2.5
2017 January3.4
2017 February1.5
2017 March1.7
2017 April2.6
2017 May2.5
2017 June2.3
2017 July2.2
2017 August1.9
2017 September2.6
2017 October1.8
2017 November2.4
2017 December1.3
2018 January1.7
2018 February2.9
2018 March3
2018 April3.1
2018 May1.9
2018 June2.5
2018 July2.7
2018 August2.2

Dutch households mainly spend more on household appliances, cars and clothing

In August 2018, consumers spent nearly 5 percent more on durable goods. Spending on household appliances, cars, clothing and footwear was up in particular. Spending on the category ‘other goods’, such as petrol, was 2 percent up. Consumer spending on food, beverages and tobacco was up by 1 percent.

Earlier this week, CBS reported that retail turnover was over 3 percent up in August year-on-year. The volume of sales also increased by over 3 percent. This figure was also adjusted for the shopping-day pattern.

Lastly, consumer spending on services - accounting for over half of total domestic consumer expenditure - rose by nearly 2 percent in August 2018. 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), August 2018 (year-on-year % change)
Durable consumer goods4.6
Other goods (e.g. gas)2
Food,drinks and tobacco1

Consumer climate in October less favourable than in August

CBS publishes figures about circumstances for household consumption on a monthly basis in the CBS Consumption Radar. 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 October are less favourable than in August. The year-on-year rise in share prices was less substantial. Consumers’ expectations about future employment were also less positive.

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


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