Economic situation slightly less positive

The picture of the economic situation at the end of September was slightly less positive than at the end of August. This is mainly the result of the spectacular drop for consumer confidence. The heart of the indicators in the Business Cycle Tracer is still located in the high economic growth stage. All indicators in the Tracer are performing better than their long-term average.

In the second quarter, the volume of the gross domestic product (GDP) was 2.6 percent up on one year previously. This almost equalled the growth in the first quarter of this year. After adjustment for seasonal effects, GDP volume grew by 0.3 percent compared with the first quarter of 2007.This quarter-on-quarter growth is the lowest for two years.

Consumer confidence deteriorated hefty in September, which was mainly caused by the radical turnaround in feelings about the economy. Manufacturers remained optimistic. The number of the business service providers expecting to receive more orders and to generate a higher turnover in the third quarter of this year exceeds those anticipating a decrease.

Manufacturing production in July was 4 percent up on last year. After correction for working days, the volume of exports of goods was almost 11 percent up on July 2006. The increase was more substantial than in the preceding months.

The capital market interest rate stood at 4.4 percent in August, 0.2 of a percentage point down on July. Inflation even decreased by 0.4 of a percentage point and averaged 1.1 percent in August. Selling prices in the manufacturing industry were 2.6 percent up on August 2006. This is 0.4 of a percentage point down on July.

In the period June–August, the seasonally adjusted unemployment figure stood at 345 thousand, 10 thousand down on the previous three-month period. In the second quarter of 2007, there were 225 thousand job vacancies and a further rise in the number of hours worked in temp jobs. In the fourth quarter of 2006, there was a further increase in the number of jobs.

Gross domestic product (GDP)

Gross domestic product (GDP)