State of the economy: further improvement

The economic situation in the Netherlands has improved again. Both entrepreneurs and consumers are more positive in October. Also the developments on the labour market are showing a more positive picture.

Producer confidence in manufacturing industry improved further in October. Especially about their expectations for the production in the fourth quarter the entrepreneurs in manufacturing industry are more optimistic. Entrepreneurs in the business services sector expect more orders and higher turnover in the fourth quarter. Consumers were also more optimistic in October, although their willingness to buy remained low.

Domestic consumption expenditure shows a slight upward trend throughout the year. In August households consumed more than in the previous year. This was the third increase in a row. The volume of goods exported from the Netherlands in August was, after adjustment for working days, 8 percent higher than in August 2004. The growth rate of the export volume in July and August remained about the same as in the first six months of 2005. After adjustment for seasonal effects, manufacturing output in July-August 2005 almost equals the level of May-June 2005.

Selling prices and prices of intermediate consumption in the manufacturing industry rose in September on August. It is the fourth increase in a row. Inflation remained stable in September. The capital market interest rate of the latest 10-year central government loan was in September 0.2 percentpoint lower than in August and reached the historic low level of June 2005.

There are signs of slight improvement on the labour market. In the second quarter of 2005 the number of jobs did not decrease any further, for the first time in two years. Unemployment, adjusted for seasonal effects, remained almost unchanged compared to the preceding months. The hours worked in temp jobs rose in the second quarter,  the number of vacancies did not rise any further.

Gross domestic product

Gross domestic product