Household consumption almost 2 percent up in October

According to figures released by Statistics Netherlands (CBS), Dutch household consumption was 1.7 percent up in October 2018 over October 2017. The growth rate was the lowest so far this year. In October 2018, consumers mainly spent more on services.

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

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 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 January1.8
2018 February3
2018 March3.1
2018 April3.2
2018 May2
2018 June2.6
2018 July2.9
2018 August2.3
2018 September2.1
2018 October1.7

Dutch households mainly spend more on services

Consumer spending on services - accounting for over half of total domestic consumer expenditure - rose by over 2 percent in October 2018 year-on-year. These services include house rent, public transport, visits to restaurants or hairdressers and insurance premiums.

In October, consumers spent over 1 percent more on food, beverages and tobacco. Consumer spending on durable goods was up by almost 1 percent. Spending on household appliances and clothing was up in particular. However, consumers spent considerably less on cars. Consumer spending on the category ‘other goods’, such as petrol, was almost 2 percent up.

Last week, CBS reported that retail turnover was 3.3 percent up in October year-on-year. The volume of sales increased by 2.6 percent. This figure was also adjusted for the shopping-day pattern.

Domestic household consumption by category (volume, adjusted for shopping days), October 2018 (year-on-year % change)
Other goods (e.g. gas)1.9
Food,drinks and tobacco1.3
Durable consumer goods0.7

Consumer climate in December less favourable than in October

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 December are less favourable than in October. The year-on-year increase in share prices turned into a decrease and manufacturers’ expectations on future employment were less positive. Consumer confidence also deteriorated.

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


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