The mood among Dutch consumers remained stable over the past few months. According to Statistics Netherlands, the consumer confidence indicator stood at -2 in July, just as in May and June. Consumer confidence is now at the same level as at the end of 2007. Consumers are quite optimistic about the economic climate in general, but they are still negative about their own financial situation.
Consumer confidence, seasonally adjusted
Quite positive about economic climate
Over the past five months, consumers have been positive about the general economic climate. The component indicator Economic climate climbed 1 point in July relative to June to reach +11. Consumers were somewhat less negative about the economic climate over the past 12 months than in the preceding month, but they were slightly less optimistic about the economic climate in the next 12 months.
Consumers still negative about their own financial situation
Consumers’ opinions about their personal financial situation were just as negative in July as in June. Consumers also thought the time to buy expensive items, like washing machines and TV sets, was as unfavourable as in the preceding month. In July, the component indicator Willingness-to-buy stood at -10. Consumers’ willingness-to-buy has improved gradually since the summer of 2013, but it is still at a low level.
Consumers’ expectations about future unemployment
Less afraid to become unemployed
Having a paid job is crucial for consumers’ willingness-to-buy. Although Dutch consumers have been very pessimistic about future unemployment for a long time, the mood has lifted over the past twelve months. In July, 43 percent of respondents expected unemployment to rise further in the next 12 months, whereas 25 percent anticipated a decline. Statistics Netherlands announced earlier that unemployment fell in May and June and that more people found work.
More figures can be found in dossier Business cycle.For more information on economic indicators, the reader is referred to the Economic Monitor.