Thursday 18 August 2022

Dutch consumer confidence index plunges due to energy prices, war in Ukraine

Photo: Depositphotos.com

Consumer confidence in the Netherlands has again fallen sharply, as the impact of the war in Ukraine is felt in the figures for the first time, national statistics office CBS said on Wednesday.

The consumer confidence index has fallen to -39, compared with -30 in February, almost reaching the record low of -41 at the height of the financial crisis in 2013. The average over the past 20 years was -8.

In particular, consumers are more pessimistic about the economy and the economic prospects for the coming 12 months. They are also more negative about their own financial situation and say they are less likely to spend money on major purchases, the CBS said.

Earlier this month, both the CPB macro-economic forecasting agency and employers organisations warned that the Netherlands could end up in a short recession.

The CPB updated its spring economic forecasts to reflect the war in Ukraine and now says the war may lead to long-term high energy and commodity prices and lower spending in various European economies.

If this happens, GDP will contract for ‘a number of quarters’, with growth reaching 1.9% in 2022 and nil in 2023, the agency said. Inflation will then rise to almost 8%, cutting spending power by 5.1 percentage points.

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