Household consumption over 2 percent up in December

According to figures released by Statistics Netherlands (CBS), Dutch household consumption was 2.3 percent up in December 2018 on December 2017. The growth rate was the same as in the previous month. In December 2018, consumers mainly spent more on cars and food.

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

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

Domestic household consumption (volume, adjusted for shopping days) (year-on-year % change)
Year MonthChange
2015January2
February2
March2.1
April1.7
May1.3
June2.3
July1.5
August1.4
September2.2
October1.7
November0.8
December0.8
2016January0.7
February0.4
March1.1
April0.4
May1.9
June0.7
July2.4
August1.5
September1.1
October2.6
November2.8
December2.5
2017January3.4
February1.5
March1.7
April2.6
May2.5
June2.3
July2.2
August1.9
September2.6
October1.8
November2.4
December1.3
2018January1.9
February3
March3.2
April3.2
May2
June2.6
July2.9
August2.3
September2.2
October2
November2.3
December2.3

Dutch households mainly spend more on food and cars

In December, consumers spent over 3 percent more on food, beverages and tobacco. They spent almost 3 percent more on durable goods. Spending on cars and household appliances was up in particular. Consumer spending on the category ‘other goods’ was down by 0.5 percent. Consumers mainly spent less on natural gas.

Last week, CBS reported that retail turnover was over 2 percent up in December year-on-year. The volume of sales increased by over 1 percent. This figure was also adjusted for the shopping-day pattern.

Consumer spending on services - accounting for over half of total domestic consumer expenditure - rose by 2.5 percent in December 2018 year-on-year. These services include insurance premiums, house rent, public transportation and visits to restaurants or hairdressers.

Domestic household consumption by category (volume, adjusted for shopping days), December 2018 (year-on-year % change)
 change
Food, drinks and tobacco3.2
Durable consumer goods2.9
Services2.5
Other goods (e.g. gas)-0.5
Total2.3

Consumer climate in February slightly less favourable than in December

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 February are less favourable than in December. Opinions of consumers on their financial situation in the next twelve months deteriorated. However, manufacturers’ expectations on future employment were more positive.

Sources

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