Repaying mortgages more popular than buying goods: CBS

Sold sign outside a house.

Consumer spending has lagged behind economic growth in the Netherlands over the past 10 years because people opted to pay off debts and mortgages rather than buy more goods, national statistics agency CBS said on Monday.

The Dutch economy grew 9,3% between 2008 and 2018, but consumer spending only rose by 4.1%, the CBS said.

The recession and the increase in the number of home owners with negative equity, plus tougher new rules on mortgage repayments, have encouraged people to reduce their debts instead.

Figures show that the national mortgage debt fell by €20bn over the 10 years in question, even though more new mortgages were taken out, the CBS said.

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