The picture of the economic situation at the end of June was about the same as it was at the end of May. The heart of the indicators in the Business Cycle Tracer is located on the edge of the high economic growth stage and the downswing stage. Thirteen of the fifteen indicators in the Tracer are performing better than their long-term average.
Dutch economic growth was 3.1 percent in the first quarter of 2008. This growth was realised with one working day fewer than the year before, however. After adjustment for seasonal effects, GDP volume grew by only 0.2 percent compared with the fourth quarter of 2007.
Consumer confidence decreased further. The indicator dropped slightly, from -17 in May to -19 in June. Optimism among business service providers is slowly fading. In contrast, the mood among manufacturers improved in June.
Manufacturing production in April was 0.4 percent up on last year. The volume of exports of goods was more than 7 percent up on April 2007. Household spending rose by 2.1 percent in April.
Capital market interest increased to 4.4 percent in May. Inflation was 2.3 percent, 0.3 of a percentage point higher than in April. Factory gate prices in the manufacturing industry were nearly 11 percent up on twelve months previously. Price increases in double digits have not occurred since 2000.
Seasonally adjusted unemployment decreased slightly in the period March-May. The number of job vacancies in the first quarter was lower than in the fourth quarter of 2007, but still remains high. The growth of the number of hours worked in temp jobs is slowing down. In the first quarter, the number of hours worked in temp jobs hardly exceeded that in the fourth quarter of 2007. Job growth was 2.1 percent in the first quarter of 2008. This is less vigorous than in 2007.
Gross domestic product (GDP)