At -9, the consumer confidence indicator in May stood slightly below its long-term average over the past two decades (-8). The indicator reached an all-time high (36) in January 2000 and an all-time low (-41) in March 2013.
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Consumers less negative about the economy
Consumers’ sentiment about the general economic situation was less negative compared to April. This component indicator stood at -24, up from -32. Consumers were more positive about the economic situation in the next twelve months. They were also less pessimistic about the economic situation over the past twelve months.
Willingness to buy positive again
Consumers’ willingness to buy stood at 1, up from -2 in April. Consumers’ opinions about their financial situation for the next twelve months and over the past twelve months have improved. Furthermore, they found the time for large purchases less unfavourable compared to April.
Consumers less negative about future unemployment
The question whether or not someone has a job plays an important role in their willingness to buy. Consumers’ unemployment expectations were less negative than in April. Approximately 48 percent of the respondents expected unemployment to rise in the twelve months to come, whereas 34 percent anticipated a drop. The balance of positive and negative answers stood at -14, the same as in March 2020 (pre-corona). The low during the current corona crisis was -87 in October 2020.
Yesterday, CBS reported that unemployment further decreased to 316 thousand in April 2021. On average over the past three months, the number of unemployed fell by 7 thousand per month.
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