Consumers slightly more optimistic again

After correction for seasonal effects, consumer confidence is three points higher in December than in November. This is the second monthly improvement in succession, after a period of decreases since January this year. Confidence is still low though, according to Statistics Netherlands’ consumer confidence survey.

Second increase in a row
To determine whether there is an actual turning point in a trend, it is best to use seasonally adjusted figures. In November these figures showed a rise for the first time this year, with the indicator 5 points up on October. In December the indicator has risen further. In October it was stable after a series of decreases since January of this year. The increases in November and December are based on increased willingness to buy and a less negative opinion on the economy in general.

Consumers more positive about purchasing large items
Consumers were just as willing to spend their money in December as last month. Willingness to buy is based on consumers’ opinions on their own financial situation and whether they think it is a good time to buy large items.

December is a relatively expensive month for consumers and the seasonal effects are therefore very strong. Consumers usually consider December less favourable than other months to buy luxury items. After correction for these effects, willingness to buy rose by three points compared with November. This month consumers are mainly more positive about buying large items and to a lesser extent about the past developments in their personal financial situation; they are more sombre than in November about the financial future of their household, though.

Opinions on economic climate improved
Consumers’ opinions on the Dutch economy are more positive in December than last month. Consumers are less negative about the economy in the last twelve months. Expectations for the coming twelve months are also less pessimistic.

(source: CBS)

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