Economic situation remains favourable

Just like in the preceding months, the overall picture of the economic situation remains favourable at the end of December. The heart of the indicators in the Business Cycle Tracer is firmly located in the high economic growth stage, which means that the growth rate of most indicators is increasing and above their long-term average.

In December, manufacturers were also optimistic, albeit slightly less optimistic than in November. Business service providers were optimistic too. The majority of them expected to receive more orders and to generate a higher turnover in the fourth quarter of 2006. Consumer confidence rose marginally in December.

The economy continued to grow in the third quarter of 2006. The volume of the gross domestic product (GDP) was 2.7 percent up on one year previously. The third quarter of 2006 had one working day less than the same period last year. After adjustment for seasonal effects, GDP volume grew 0.7 percent relative to the second quarter.

November’s manufacturing output was almost 4 percent up on one year ago. Production growth reached the highest level in six years. The growth rate of  exports remains high. The volume of exports of goods was nearly 11 percent larger than in November 2005. Household spending has risen again. Domestic consumption, adjusted for differences in shopping days and prices, rose by 2.0 percent in November, relative to November 2005.

The capital market interest rate was stable in December. Dutch inflation was 1.1 percent in December. Selling prices in manufacturing industry were 2.5 percent higher in November than twelve months previously.

Unemployment was reduced further in the fourth quarter of 2006. In the third quarter, both the number of jobs and the number of vacancies increased further. There also was a rise in the number of hours worked in temp jobs.

Gross domestic product (GDP)

Gross domestic product (GDP)