12 - Disasters, Confidence and the Economy

Wetenschappelijke publicatie
Date 1 November 2001

Negative events often have a significant influence on confidence but their effect on the Dutch economy is considerably less clear-cut. Disasters have a significant influence on consumer and producer confidence. With regard to consumer confidence, this is seen principally in the Economic Climate sub-indicator and to a lesser degree in the Propensity to Consume sub-indicator. After only a small number of disasters was the decline large enough to be individually significant. However, disasters had no significant influence on expenditure on consumer durables or growth in production. This may mean that consumers and producers are fairly sombre about the general situation immediately after a disaster but that they do not alter their behaviour. As a result, both consumer confidence and producer confidence are less reliable indicators after a disaster than in a ‘normal’ period.