Consumer confidence continues to slide as economy contracts

Photo: N. van der Pas

Consumer confidence has dipped marginally for the fourth month in a row as negative sentiment about the state of the economy persists.

The balance of positive and negative perceptions of the economy stands at -56, two points down from July, while people’s feelings about their own financial situation in the last 12 months was unchanged at a net -29.

The overall figure of -40 is one point lower than last month and has drifted down from -37 in April, after rising steadily from -59 since last autumn.

The monthly survey by the statistics agency CBS is seen as an important barometer of how much consumers are likely to spend in the near term.

Overall sentiment is sharply lower than the average of the last 20 years, which is a mildly pessimistic -10. However, people are relatively optimistic about the next 12 months, with the balance of positive versus negative responses standing at -5.

Last month the CBS said the country was officially in recession after the economy contracted by 0.3% in the second quarter of 2023. Chief economist Pieter Hein van Mulligen said the economy was in a “period of stagnation” after flatlining for the last 12 months.

The Dutch central bank is forecasting growth of 0.8% over the whole of 2023 and 1.4% next year, but these predictions predate last week’s figures.

Source: CBS
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