Household consumption 4.5 percent up in December

© Hollandse Hoogte / Mariette Carstens
According to figures released by Statistics Netherlands (CBS), consumers spent 4.5 percent more in December 2021 than one year previously. They mainly spent more on services and durable goods. Compared to December 2019, consumers spent 7.7 percent less in December 2021. In November 2021, consumers spent more than two years previously.

Consumption figures have been adjusted for price changes and differences in the shopping-day pattern.

Domestic household consumption (volume, adjusted for shopping days)
Year MonthChange (year-on-year % change)
2018January1.9
2018February3.1
2018March3
2018April3.2
2018May2.2
2018June2.5
2018July2.7
2018August2.6
2018September2
2018October2.1
2018November2.2
2018December1.7
2019January0.8
2019February0.5
2019March1
2019April1
2019May1.8
2019June1
2019July0.5
2019August0.5
2019September1.3
2019October1.4
2019November1.2
2019December2.4
2020January0.8
2020February1.9
2020March-7.5
2020April-17.4
2020May-12.3
2020June-7.3
2020July-2.6
2020August-2.2
2020September-3.9
2020October-6.1
2020November-6.5
2020December-11.7
2021January-12.6
2021February-11.7
2021March-0.3
2021April11.9
2021May11
2021June6.7
2021July2.5
2021August3.4
2021September4.6
2021October8.7
2021November8.8
2021December4.5

Consumers spending more on services and durable goods

In December, adjusted for price changes, consumers spent 7.1 percent more on services such as telephone and internet subscriptions, insurances, visits to hairdressers, restaurants or football matches relative to December 2020. As of 19 December 2021, bars, restaurants, cinemas, theatres, amusement parks, zoos and swimming pools had to close. In December 2020, however, these companies had to stay closed for the entire month. In December 2021, consumption of services was still 10.9 percent lower than in December 2019. In general, spending on services accounts for over half of total domestic consumer expenditure.

Consumers spent 5.3 percent more on durable goods in December 2021 year on year. Spending on clothes, footwear, home furnishing and electrical appliances was up in particular. Spending on transport equipment, on the other hand, was down on December 2020. As of 19 December 2021, most shops had to close. In December 2020, the lockdown for shops started on 14 December. Furthermore, unlike in December 2020, there was a Click & Collect system in December 2021; consumers could order products online and pick them up in the shop a few hours later. In December 2021, spending on durable goods was still 11.8 percent lower than in December 2019.

Consumption of other goods, such as natural gas, electricity, motor fuels and personal care, was 3.4 percent up year on year. Consumers used slightly more energy and spent more on personal care. Consumption of motor fuels was lower than one year previously.

Consumption of food, beverages and tobacco was down by 2.3 percent relative to December 2020. Consumers spent less on alcohol and tobacco in particular.

Two weeks ago, CBS reported year-on-year turnover growth in retail trade of over 4 percent for December 2021. The volume of sales went up by 2.9 percent. Turnover in the non-food sector grew by 2.5 percent relative to one year previously and turnover in the food sector by 0.6 percent. These figures have also been adjusted for the shopping-day pattern.

Domestic household consumption by category (volume, adjusted for shopping days), December 2021
 Change (year-on-year % change)
Services7.1
Durable goods5.3
Other goods (e.g. gas)3.4
Food, drinks and tobacco-2.3
Total4.5

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