The mood among Dutch consumers continued to deteriorate in March, new data from statistics body Centraal Bureau voor de Statistiek (CBS) has shown, with consumer confidence almost at its lowest level ever.
Consumer confidence came in at -39 for the month, compared to -30 in February, with Dutch consumers ‘particularly gloomy’ about the coming 12 months, as well as being concerned about the war in Ukraine.
The only time that consumer confidence was lower, according to CBS, was in February and March 2013. In March 2013, consumer confidence hit a low of -41.
According to CBS, Dutch consumers are pessimistic about the economy, with the economic climate sub-indicator going from -46 to -58 in March.
In terms of the ‘willingness to buy’ indicator, this stood at -26 in March, compared to -29 in February – its lowest level in more than eight years.
‘Consumers were especially more negative about their financial situation in the next twelve months,’ CBS noted. ‘Furthermore, consumers found the time in March to be less favourable for making large purchases than [they were] in February.’
Earlier this month, representative group MKB-Nederland noted that the Ukrainian conflict is likely to create an ‘uncertain economic situation’, with energy and raw-material price increases exacerbated by issues in the logistics chain.
‘Based on the latest signals from the real economy, there are serious concerns,’ the group noted. ‘Many entrepreneurs find it difficult to pass on the increased prices.’
The group added that there is an increased risk of a ‘1970s situation’, with prolonged high inflation and a recession hitting consumers and businesses hard.