For the first time in seven years, more Dutch consumers are positive about the economy than are negative, the national statistics office CBS said on Thursday. The official consumer confidence index reached +2 in March, up from -7 in February. It had sunk as low as -44 in February 2013. The last time the index was in positive figures was in August 2007, shortly before the start of the economic crisis. The CBS says the improved sentiment is largely due to other positive figures about the economy, stock exchange and jobs market. Earlier this week, for example, the government’s macro-economic forecasting agency CPB said almost everyone will have more to spend this year. The CBS also said on Thursday that unemployment had fallen again in February, after several months of slight increases. In particular, more youngsters had found a job, the CBS said. The number of people claiming unemployment benefit in February fell by 2,500 to 455,000.
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