Netherlands: Consumer sentiment improves but remains pessimistic in February
Consumer confidence inched up to minus 2 in February from minus 3 in January, highlighting continued pessimism among Dutch consumers as the index remained below the neutral zero-mark. However, the figure came in above the long-term average of minus 5.
The uptick in sentiment levels reflected a broad-based improvement of underlying components. Consumers’ outlook on the economic climate in the year ahead improved, although it remained firmly pessimistic. Consumers also had a rosier view of the economy in the past 12 months. Simultaneously, consumers’ willingness to buy also improved, due to more upbeat views on their financial situation in the next 12 months as well as in the last 12 months. The improvement in attitudes regarding the economy and households’ financial situation in the year ahead were likely influenced by a tight labor market and the recent signing of a “phase one” deal between the United States and China.