The Dutch consumer confidence index has fallen to -2 in February, the first time in four years the index has been in negative territory. The index has been falling steadily since July last year.

The national statistics office CBS says consumers are more unhappy about the economic climate and are less willing to make major purchases. But despite dropping three points on January, the index is still slightly above the 20 year average of -3, the CBS said.

The index reached its highest every point of 36 in January 2000 and a record low of -41 in March 2013, at the height of the economic crisis.