Consumer confidence remains the same in March

© Nikki van Toorn (CBS)
According to Statistics Netherlands (CBS), the mood among Dutch consumers has not changed. In March, the consumer confidence indicator remains at -2. Opinions on the economic climate have deteriorated, while consumers’ willingness to buy has improved slightly.

Approximately 85 percent of the respondents participating in the consumer confidence survey had already responded to the survey before the far-reaching measures against the spread of coronavirus came into effect on Thursday 12 March. The effect of these measures is probably not yet reflected in the consumer confidence measurements for March. In the few survey days since 12 March, however, a downward trend can be seen in the reported confidence. Opinions on the economic climate in the next 12 months do deteriorate significantly in March, but this is compensated by an improvement in opinions on the economic situation over the past 12 months and a slight increase in consumers’ willingness to buy.

At -2, the consumer confidence indicator in March stands above its long-term average over the past two decades (-5). The indicator reached an all-time high in January 2000 (36) and an all-time low in March 2013 (-41).

Consumer confidence, seasonally adjusted (average of the component questions)
YearMonthbalance
2016April6
May7
June11
July9
August9
September12
October17
November20
December21
2017January21
February22
March24
April26
May23
June23
July25
August26
September23
October23
November22
December25
2018January24
February23
March24
April25
May23
June23
July23
August21
September18
October15
November13
December9
2019January0
February-2
March -4
April-3
May-3
June0
July2
August0
September-2
October-1
November-2
December-2
2020January-3
February-2
March-2

More negative about economic climate in coming twelve months

Consumers are more negative about the economic situation than in the previous month. The component indicator Economic climate has deteriorated: from -5 in February to -8 in March. Consumers are considerably more negative about the economic climate in the coming twelve months, but more positive about the economic climate in the past twelve months.

Economic situation 12 months to come (balance % positive en % negative answers)
jaarmaandsaldo
2016april9
mei12
juni23
juli18
augustus19
september25
oktober32
november38
december38
2017januari40
februari41
maart45
april49
mei43
juni40
juli41
augustus43
september38
oktober40
november38
december40
2018januari41
februari40
maart41
april41
mei35
juni34
juli34
augustus30
september26
oktober19
november17
december7
2019januari-9
februari-13
maart-15
april-13
mei-12
juni-7
juli-2
augustus-10
september-14
oktober-14
november-16
december-18
2020januari-17
februari-15
maart-25

Consumers’ willingness to buy improves marginally

Consumers’ willingness to buy has hardly changed. This component indicator stands at 2, up from 1 in February. Opinions on both their financial situation over the past twelve months and their financial situation in the coming twelve months have improved. Consumers find this a slightly less favourable time to make large purchases.

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