Netherlands: Consumer sentiment inches up but remains in pessimistic territory in October
Sentiment among Dutch consumers improved marginally in October as the index rose from minus 2 in September to minus 1 in October. Moreover, the print remained above the long-term average of minus 4, yet it remained below the neutral zero-threshold that separates pessimism from optimism.
The uptick in October was solely driven by improved willingness to buy, which rose on the back of rosier views on households’ financial situation in the year ahead while consumers also considered the current situation to be more suitable for big-ticker purchases. On the other hand, sentiment regarding the financial situation of households in the past 12 months remained pessimistic despite a fractional uptick. Regarding views on the economic climate, consumers became less upbeat on the economic situation in the past year while their views regarding the economy in the year were unchanged and remained deeply entrenched in pessimistic territory. The latter is likely linked to protracted trade woes between the United States and China as well as lingering Brexit uncertainty.