The increase in consumer spending was moderate again in February. The volume of domestic individual consumption was 1.5 percent higher than in February last year.
In January the volume increase on the previous month was also modest (1.8 percent). Statistics Netherlandsâ€™ figures further show that the increase in the beginning of 2002 was in the same order of magnitude as the average volume increase in 2001.
Spending on means of transport up strongly
Consumers spent 1.5 percent more on durable goods in February. The
volume of spending on household appliances was 3.7 percent higher than one year previously. After correction for prices, consumers spent over 10 percent more on means of transport than in the same month one year previously.
However, incidental causes kept the level of spending in February last year relatively low. Other durable goods were less in demand. The volume of spending on clothes and textiles in February this year was the same as in February 2001, while consumers spent less on shoes and leatherwear, home furnishings and household appliances than twelve months previously. The volume of spending on durable goods was 2.6 percent higher in the first two months of this year than in the same period in 2001.
After a number of years of growth rates of between five and ten percent the volume of spending on this economically sensitive category of consumption was slightly lower than twelve months previously (-0.1 percent).
Food spending down
After price adjustment, slightly less (-0.5 percent) was spent on food, drink and tobacco in February than in the same month last year. For January and February together the growth is positive, at 0.4 percent. The volume growth of spending on food, drink and tobacco has been slow for a number of years now.
Consumers spent 1.8 percent more on services in February. The growth rate of spending on services is gradually diminishing. In 2001 the volume increase of spending on services was still as high as 2.6 percent.
(source: Statistics Netherlands)