Consumer confidence, spending on the rise

Consumers spent 1.9 percent more on goods and services in March than a year earlier, according to figures from Statistics Netherlands (CBS). In general, they spent more on gas, household appliances and home furnishings.

Consumer confidence among Dutch individuals is also increasing., rising by two percentage points in May from zero. The increase in confidence mainly comes from the less negative propensity to consume. Consumer confidence is currently well above the average for the last 20 years.

Conditions for consumption by Dutch households improved in April and May compared to March. They were also better in May than in April due to the improving opinion about the financial situation in the next 12 months. The mood among manufacturers about future employment was also better in May than a month before.

Higher expenditures on gas are explained by colder winter months in 2015 than a year before. Expenditures on energy were 7.8 percent higher than in March 2014. Consumers also spent 1.6% more on durable goods. Most noticeably, they spent more on household appliances and home furnishing. CBS reported last week that home furnishing stores achieved the largest growth in seven years. This is in line with the recovery of the housing market. Consumers also spent 1.4 percent more on food.

With regards to services, individuals spent 0.8% more on rent, public transport, hospitality industry services and insurance. Spending on services constitutes around a half of the total internal spending.