Dutch households' disposable income up 2.4 percent

The disposable income of Dutch households increased by 2.4 percent in the first quarter of this year, mainly thanks to an increase in jobs and hours worked, Statistics Netherlands reported on Monday. 

Adjusted for price increases, Dutch workers received 1.8 percent more salary in the first quarter than in the same quarter last year. The number of employee jobs increased by 2.5 percent and the number of hours worked increased by 1.6 percent. 

Paid taxes and social contributions have a lowering effect on disposable income. Adjusted to inflation, taxes and social contributions were 1 percent higher than the first quarter of 2018. "This increase is smaller than in the first quarter of 2018", the stats office said. 

Higher disposable income also resulted in more spending. Adjusted for price increases, consumer spending increased by 0.7 percent in the first quarter compared to the same quarter last year. Individual savings - the part of disposable income that's left over after consumption - amounted to 4.5 billion euros, 1.8 billion euros more than in the first three months of 2018. 

Household debts also decreased in the first quarter, for the first time since the fourth quarter of 2016. In the last quarter of 2016, the lower debts were the result of residential mortgages decreasing. In the first quarter of this year, the debt decline can be attributed to consumers repaying consumer debts and other long-term loans. Housing mortgages increased in the first quarter, but by "much less" than in the preceding quarters, the stats office said.