Consumers more pessimistic in August

Consumer confidence is declining in August, as reported today by Statistics Netherlands (CBS). The consumer confidence indicator stands at -29, down from -26 in July. Consumers’ sentiment about the general economic situation has deteriorated, while willingness to buy has remained virtually unchanged.

 At -29, the consumer confidence indicator in August stands far below its long-term average over the past two decades (-6). The indicator reached an all-time high (36) in January 2000 and an all-time low (-41) in March 2013.

Consumer confidence, seasonally adjusted
YearMonthbalance (average of the component questions)
2016September12
2016October17
2016November20
2016December21
2017January21
2017February22
2017March24
2017April26
2017May23
2017June23
2017July25
2017August26
2017September23
2017October23
2017November22
2017December25
2018January24
2018February23
2018March24
2018April25
2018May23
2018June23
2018July23
2018August21
2018September18
2018October15
2018November13
2018December9
2019January0
2019February-2
2019March -4
2019April-3
2019May-3
2019June0
2019July2
2019August0
2019September-2
2019October-1
2019November-2
2019December-2
2020January-3
2020February-2
2020March-2
2020April-22
2020May-31
2020June-27
2020July-26
2020August-29

Economic sentiment deteriorated

Consumers’ sentiment about the general economic situation has deteriorated. This component indicator stands at -59, down from -51. Opinions on the economic situation over the past twelve months and for the next twelve months have both deteriorated.

Willingness to buy more or less the same

Consumer’ willingness to buy stands at -9, up from -10 in July. Opinions on their expected financial situation for the next twelve months were less negative. On the other hand, consumers were slightly more pessimistic about their financial situation over the past twelve months. Furthermore, they consider this time slightly more unfavourable to make large purchases than in July.

Consumers extremely gloomy about future unemployment

In August, consumers were more pessimistic about future unemployment than in July. Approximately 89 percent of the respondents expected unemployment to rise, whereas 6 percent anticipated a drop. As a result, the balance of positive and negative answers stands at -83, the lowest number in over seven years. The all-time low was -88 in March 1993.

Expectations on unemployment
YearMonthbalance (balance % positive and % negative answers)
2016September7
2016October2
2016November13
2016December23
2017January36
2017February43
2017March38
2017April42
2017May34
2017June37
2017July36
2017August45
2017September41
2017October49
2017November45
2017December50
2018January53
2018February51
2018March52
2018April52
2018May45
2018June49
2018July46
2018August46
2018September46
2018October36
2018November38
2018December28
2019January25
2019February25
2019March25
2019April21
2019May28
2019June29
2019July23
2019August11
2019September12
2019October5
2019November-11
2019December-13
2020January-6
2020February0
2020March-14
2020April-78
2020May-81
2020June-76
2020July-79
2020August-83

Coronavirus has had a significant impact on consumer confidence. In order to arrive at proper series estimates in terms of level and seasonal influences, CBS has made some adjustments to its time series model. This results in slightly reduced accuracy of the data.

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