Household spending over 1 percent up in March

© Hollandse Hoogte
According to figures released by Statistics Netherlands (CBS), Dutch consumers spent 1.1 percent more in March 2019 than in March 2018. This is about the same growth rate as in the two previous months. Consumers spent more on home furnishings and household appliances, but considerably less on natural gas than one year previously.

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

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
2015April1.7
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
February3.0
March3.2
April3.2
May2.1
June2.6
July2.9
August2.3
September2.2
October2.1
November2.4
December2.5
2019January1.1
February1.0
March1.1

Spending on natural gas down again

In March, spending on other goods such as energy and motor fuels was down by 6.6 percent year-on-year. Households mainly consumed less natural gas, due to the relatively mild winter.

On the other hand, consumers spent 5 percent more on durable goods than in March 2018, mainly on home furnishings, household appliances, clothes and shoes. Car purchases were down, however. Furthermore, consumers spent 1 percent more on food, beverages and tobacco than one year earlier.

Last week, CBS reported that retail turnover was 4.4 percent up in March year-on-year. The volume of sales increased by 3.6 percent. This figure was also adjusted for the shopping-day pattern.

Consumer spending on services – which accounts for over half of total domestic consumer expenditure - rose by 1.6 percent in March 2019 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), June 2018 (year-on-year % change)
 change
Durable consumer goods5.0
Services1.6
Food, drinks and tobacco1.0
Other goods (e.g. gas)-6.6
Total1.1

Consumer climate in May less favourable than in March

Every month, CBS publishes figures about circumstances for household consumption in the CBS Consumption Radar. Household consumption is influenced by factors such as 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 slightly less favourable than in March. The growth of the employed labour force was less substantial and manufacturers were less positive about future employment. In addition, there was a smaller year-on-year increase in house prices. 

The figures presented in this news release are provisional and subject for revision.

Sources

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