Dutch unemployment lowest in 10 years, consumer spending highest in six

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The Dutch unemployment rate fell to 5.4% in the final quarter of 2016, the lowest level in 10 years, national statistics agency CBS said on Thursday.

The year-end jobless total fell to 482,000 as 39,000 more people found work in the final quarter, the CBS said. A similar drop was last seen in 2006 when the unemployment figure dipped to 4.6% from 5.5%.

At the same time, the number of unemployment benefit (WW) claims had fallen 34,000 to 412,000 by the end of the year.




Consumer spending

The CBS also said Dutch consumer spending increased by 2.8% in November, the highest rate in six years.

A major reason for the increase is that temperatures were on average 4.5 degrees lower than in the year-earlier period, meaning households turned their heating on earlier.

Spending on consumer durables such as clothing, furniture and household appliances rose by 4.5% in the period.

Confidence

The consumer confidence index rose one point to +13 in January, its highest level in 9.5 years, the CBS said. The slight increase is due to more positive views about the economy in general and consumers’ willingness to buy fell slightly.


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