Household spending nearly 1 percent up in February

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Dutch household consumption was almost 1 percent up in February 2019 on February 2018.

CBS (Centraal Bureau Voor De Statistiek)

23/04/2019 15:00 © CBS / Nikki van Toorn According to figures released by Statistics Netherlands (CBS), Dutch consumers spent 0.9 percent more in February 2019 than in February 2018. This is the lowest growth rate since mid-2016. Consumers did spend considerably less on natural gas and cars than one year previously.

The CBS Consumption Radar shows that circumstances for Dutch household consumption in April are, on balance, just as favourable as in February.

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

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Less spent on natural gas and passenger cars

In February, spending on other goods such as energy and motor fuels was down by 7.5 percent year-on-year. Households mainly consumed less natural gas on account of the relatively mild winter.

On the other hand, consumers spent almost 5 percent more on durable goods in February of this year, mainly on home furnishings and household appliances. Car purchases were down, however. Consumers also spent nearly 1 percent more on food, beverages and tobacco than one year earlier.

Last week, CBS reported that retail turnover was over 4 percent up in February year-on-year. The volume of sales increased by 3.5 percent. This figure was also adjusted for the shopping-day pattern.

Consumer spending on services – which accounts for over half of total domestic consumer expenditure - rose by 1.7 percent in February 2019 year-on-year. These services include insurance premiums, house rent, public transportation and visits to restaurants or hairdressers.

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Consumer climate in April equally favourable

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 April as favourable as in February. The year-on-year decline in stock market prices turned into an upward trend. On the other hand, manufacturers were less optimistic about future employment in their sector. In addition, there was a smaller year-on-year increase in house prices and in employment relative to February. 

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

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