The economic picture at the end of June is even better than that at the end of May. This is mainly the result of continuous growth in consumption expenditure and the highest level for consumer confidence for almost seven years. The heart of the scatter in the Business Cycle Tracer is located a little higher in the high economic growth stage, which means that the growth rate of most indicators is increasing and above their long-term average. Because of a growing similarity in their development, indicators in the Tracer are converging.
In the first quarter, the volume of the gross domestic product (GDP) was 2.5 percent up on one year previously. However, the first quarter of 2007 had one working day fewer than the same period in 2006. After adjustment for seasonal effects, GDP volume grew by 0.6 percent compared with the fourth quarter. This quarter-on-quarter growth rate is in line with the growth rate in the seven preceding quarters.
Consumer confidence increased further in June. Since the summer of 2006, the mood indicator among manufacturers has remained consistently high. The majority of the business service providers expected to receive more orders and to generate a higher turnover in the second quarter of this year.
Dutch manufacturing industry is still thriving. Manufacturing production in April was 6 percent up on last year, thus equalling the growth in February and March. After correction for working day effects, the volume of exports of goods was 6 percent up on April 2006. Household spending has risen with 2.0 percent.
The capital market interest rate increased further and stood at 4.3 percent in May. Inflation stood at 1.8 percent, unchanged compared with April. Selling prices in the manufacturing industry were 2,6 percent up.
Dutch unemployment continues to decline. In the period March-May, the seasonally adjusted unemployment figure stood at 347 thousand. In the first quarter, there were 212 thousand job vacancies and a continuous rise in the number of hours worked in temp jobs. In the fourth quarter, there was a continuous rise in the number of jobs.
Gross domestic product (GDP)