Netherlands: Consumer confidence continues its upward trend in August
August 22, 2017
Despite still being without a newly-formed coalition government, the seasonally-adjusted consumer confidence index inched up to reach the joint-highest level in 2017 so far, matching the figure last seen in April of this year. In August, consumer confidence increased slightly from 25 points in July to 26 points. As a result, the index remains firmly entrenched in optimistic territory where it has been since March 2015. August’s print came in far above the average over the last 20 years of minus 3 points.
Consumer confidence rose on the heels of a more positive view on the economy, but consumers’ willingness to buy remained unchanged. The sub-components of consumers’ willingness to buy remained unaffected, which could be a wait-and-see tactic in anticipation of the fiscal policies of the new government-to-be. Political pundits comment that the next government could increase its spending and ease fiscal constraint, after four years of austerity. This could have been partly behind consumers’ improved expectations regarding unemployment, as the majority now believe unemployment will decrease in the next 12 months.
Author: Jan Lammersen, Economist