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).
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.
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.