Economic situation deteriorates further

The picture of the economic situation at the end of February was far worse than at the end of January. Economic growth took a turn for the worse The heart of the indicators in the Business Cycle Tracer is firmly located in the recession stage.

In the fourth quarter of 2008, Dutch Gross Domestic Product (GDP) contracted by 0.6 percent. GDP volume was smaller than one year previously for the first time in over five years. Compared with the preceding quarter, output declined by 0.9 percent. This is the third time in a row that quarter-on-quarter growth was negative.

In February 2009, consumers were just as pessimistic as in January. The mood among manufacturers deteriorated. Producer confidence dropped from -20.0 to -22.9. This is the lowest level since 1985, the first year the index was calculated on a monthly basis. Business service providers were slightly more pessimistic than in January.

In January 2009, capital market interest averaged 3.8 percent, i.e. 0.1 of a percentage point up on December. The Dutch inflation rate stood at 1.9 percent in January and equalled inflation in December. Selling prices in the manufacturing industry were over 7 percent down on December 2007.

Unemployment is rising slightly. In the period November 2008-January 2009, seasonally adjusted unemployment averaged 304 thousand. The number of jobs of employees was nearly 100 thousand up on the fourth quarter of 2007, i.e. a 1.2 percent growth. The number of job vacancies plummeted. The number of hours worked in temp jobs decreased marginally.

Gross domestic product (GDP)

Gross domestic product (GDP)