Tuesday 21 January 2020

Consumer spending set to slow as jobless total rises slightly: CBS

The In De Hove shopping centre in Delft. Photo: michiel1972 via Wikipedia

Dutch consumer spending rose 1.7% in July, compared with the previous year, boosted by people buying furniture and other household goods, the national statistics agency CBS said on Thursday.

Spending on services, such as rent, insurance and public transport was also up nearly 2% on 2018, the CBS said. Spending on services accounts for half the total bill.

But the CBS expects spending figures for September to be down on July, as the jobless total creeps up slightly.

The official Dutch unemployment rate rose 0.1 of a percentage point to 3.5% last month, ending months of decline.

Consumer confidence has also taken a knock, with the index falling to -2 in August, the CBS said. Consumers are both less optimistic about the economy and their own finances.

Nevertheless, the August figure is still above the -4 average over the past 20 years. The index plunged to a record low of -41 in March 2013, at the height of the economic crisis.

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