Household consumption over 11 percent up in January

© Hollandse Hoogte / Michel Utrecht
According to figures released by Statistics Netherlands (CBS), consumers spent 11.1 percent more in January 2022 than one year previously. They mainly spent more on services and durable goods. Compared to January 2020, consumers spent 2.9 percent less in January 2022.

Consumption figures have been adjusted for price changes and differences in the shopping-day pattern. The CBS Consumption Radar shows that circumstances for Dutch household consumption in March are, on balance, less favourable than in January.

Domestic household consumption (volume, adjusted for shopping days)
Year MonthChange (year-on-year % change)
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
2021April12
2021May11.2
2021June6.8
2021July2.6
2021August3.5
2021September4.7
2021October9
2021November9.1
2021December4.8
'22January11.1

Consumers spending more on services and durable goods

In January, adjusted for price changes, consumers spent 12.4 percent more on services such as telephone and internet subscriptions, insurances, visits to hairdressers, restaurants or football matches relative to January 2021. Until 25 January 2022 inclusive, bars, restaurants, cinemas, theatres, amusement parks and zoos had to close. In January 2021, however, these companies had to stay closed for the entire month. In January 2022, consumption of services was still 5.8 percent lower than in January 2020. In general, spending on services accounts for over half of total domestic consumer expenditure.

Consumers spent 27.8 percent more on durable goods in January 2022 year on year. Spending on clothes, footwear, home furnishing and electrical appliances was up in particular. As of 19 December 2021 until 14 January 2022 inclusive, most non-essential shops had to close. From mid-January, non-essential shops were allowed to be open until 5 p.m. This means that the coronavirus measures were less strict than one year previously, when shops were closed for the entire month.

Furthermore, unlike in January 2021, there was a Click & Collect system in January 2022; consumers could order products online and pick them up in the shop a few hours later. In January 2022, spending on durable goods was 2.9 percent lower than in January 2020.

Adjusted for price changes, consumption of other goods, such as natural gas, electricity, motor fuels and personal care, was 0.7 percent up year on year. Consumers used less energy and motor fuels, but spent more on personal care. Finally, consumption of food, beverages and tobacco was down by 0.8 percent relative to January 2021.

Two weeks ago, CBS reported that in January 2022 the volume of sales in retail trade grew by almost 14 percent relative to January 2020. The volume of sales in the non-food sector grew by 53 percent, but shrank in the food sector by almost 4 percent. These figures have also been adjusted for the shopping-day pattern.

Domestic household consumption by category (volume, adjusted for shopping days), January 2022
 Change (year-on-year % change)
Durable goods27.8
Services12.4
Other goods (e.g. gas)0.7
Food, drinks and tobacco-0.8
Total11.1

Consumer climate less favourable in March

Every month, CBS publishes figures about circumstances for household consumption in the CBS Consumption Radar. Household consumption is influenced by factors such as consumers’ expectations, their personal financial situation and developments on the labour market. Although the Radar indicators show a strong correlation with household consumption, improved circumstances are not necessarily translated into increased growth.

According to the CBS Consumption Radar, circumstances for Dutch household consumption in March are less favourable than in January. This is mainly because consumers were more pessimistic about their financial future and because the year-on-year rise in share prices was less pronounced.