Economic situation slightly less positive

The picture of the economic situation at the end of July was slightly less positive than at the end of June. The heart of the indicators in the Business Cycle Tracer is located slightly lower but still 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 3.3 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 0.4 percent compared with the fourth quarter of 2007.

The consumer confidence index declined from -19 in June to -31 in July, the second biggest drop ever recorded. The mood among business service providers was less positive than one month previously. Optimism among manufacturers is slowly fading.

Manufacturing production in May was 0.6 percent up on last year. Household spending on goods and services rose by 2.6 percent relative to May 2007. This virtually equalled the increase in April. The volume of exports of goods was nearly 6 percent up on twelve months previously.

Capital market interest increased for the third month in a row and stood at 4.7 percent in June. Inflation also continues to rise, to 2.6 percent in June. Factory gate prices in the manufacturing industry were 12 percent up on twelve months previously. 

Unemployment increased by 3 thousand in the period April-June. 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 2.2 percent in the first quarter of 2008. This is somewhat less vigorous than in 2007.

Gross domestic product (GDP)

Gross domestic product (GDP)