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What drives consumer confidence in times of financial crises? Evidence for the Netherlands


  • Paul Neisingh
  • Ad Stokman


Five years after Lehman Brothers defaulted, the Dutch consumer confidence is still very low. Based on a monthly time series analysis from 1978 onwards, we provide evidence that general economic indicators are not sufficient to explain consumer sentiment. We show that during the Great Recession confidence drops are magnified by the decline in the public's trust in the financial sector and in Europe. Next to financial stability, price stability and political stability are found to be crucial for consumer confidence. Furthermore, we identify autonomous waves of optimism and pessimism. We interpret this as evidence of Keynes' notion of animal spirits. Full recovery of consumer confidence might take long.

Suggested Citation

  • Paul Neisingh & Ad Stokman, 2013. "What drives consumer confidence in times of financial crises? Evidence for the Netherlands," DNB Working Papers 394, Netherlands Central Bank, Research Department.
  • Handle: RePEc:dnb:dnbwpp:394

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    Cited by:

    1. Del Missier, Fabio & Ranyard, Rob & Bonini, Nicolao, 2016. "Perceived inflation: The role of product accessibility and attitudes towards inflation," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 56(C), pages 97-106.
    2. repec:eee:intfor:v:34:y:2018:i:2:p:355-365 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item


    consumer confidence; trust; animal spirits; financial crisis;

    JEL classification:

    • D03 - Microeconomics - - General - - - Behavioral Microeconomics: Underlying Principles
    • E21 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Consumption; Saving; Wealth
    • E32 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Business Fluctuations; Cycles
    • E44 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Money and Interest Rates - - - Financial Markets and the Macroeconomy

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