Business cycle past its peak

30/09/2008 09:30

The economic situation at the end of September was less positive than at the end of August. The heart of the indicators in the Business Cycle Tracer left the high economic growth stage and is now located in the downswing stage. However, twelve of the fifteen indicators in the Tracer are still performing better than their long-term average.

Dutch economic growth slows down. In the second quarter, economic growth was 3.0 percent relative to one year previously. Growth in the second quarter was 0.1 percent compared to the first quarter.

In July, household spendings on goods and services were 1.4 percent up on last year. The volume of exports of goods was 3 percent up. Manufacturing production was nearly 3 percent below the level of July 2007.

Consumers were slightly less pessimistic about the state of the economy in September. Confidence among manufacturers plummeted from 4.9 in August to -0.5 in September, the most substantial decline ever observed. Optimism among business service providers also deteriorated, but to a lesser degree.

In August, the capital market interest rate dropped back to 4.4 percent. The inflation rate remained stable at 3.2 percent. Selling prices in manufacturing industry were almost 11 percent up on twelve months previously.

Seasonally adjusted unemployment remained unchanged in the period June-August. The number of job vacancies in the second quarter of 2008 fell marginally in the second quarter, but remained high. The number of hours worked in temp jobs increased slightly. The number of jobs of employees was 2.0 percent higher than in the second quarter of 2007. Job growth in the first six months of this year was somewhat down on 2007.

Gross domestic product (GDP)

Gross domestic product (GDP)