Household spending over 2 percent up in May

According to figures released by Statistics Netherlands (CBS), Dutch consumers spent
2.4 percent more in May 2019 than in May 2018. This is a higher growth rate than in the four previous months. Consumers spent mainly more on home furnishings and household appliances. In addition, natural gas consumption was higher as well.

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

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
2015June2.3
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
May2.1
June2.6
July2.9
August2.3
September2.2
October2.1
November2.4
December2.5
2019January1.1
February1
March1
April1.8
May2.4

Spending on durable goods up in particular

In May, consumers spent 6.1 percent more on durable goods than in the same month last year, mainly on home furnishings and household appliances. Purchases of new cars were down again, however.

Spending on other goods such as energy and motor fuels was up by 5.8 percent year-on-year. Consumers used mainly more natural gas, due to the fact that May 2019 was colder than May 2018. Furthermore, consumers spent 0.5 percent less on food, beverages and tobacco than one year earlier.

Last week, CBS reported that retail turnover was 3.1 percent up in May year-on-year. The volume of sales increased by 2.8 percent. These figures were also adjusted for the shopping-day pattern.

Consumer spending on services – which accounts for over half of total domestic consumer expenditure - rose by 1.4 percent in May 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), May 2019 (year-on-year % change)
 change
Durable consumer goods6.1
Other goods (e.g. gas)5.8
Services1.4
Food, drinks and tobacco-0.5
Total2.4

Consumer climate in July less favourable than in May

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 July are less favourable than in May. Manufacturers were less positive about future employment and the year-on-year increase in share prices turned into a decrease.

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

Sources

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