Economic situation deteriorates further

The economic situation at the end of May was far worse than at the end of April. This is mainly caused by the prevailing economic downturn. The heart of the indicators in the Business Cycle Tracer is firmly located in the recession stage.

In the first quarter of 2009, the economy contracted by 4.5 percent. This is the most substantial downturn in well over 60 years. Especially exports and investments deteriorated. The economy declined by 2.8 percent relative to the preceding quarter. This is the most substantial quarter-on-quarter contraction ever observed.

Consumer confidence increased for the second time in a row in May. Consumers were especially less pessimistic about the economy in the next twelve months. The mood among manufacturers hardly changed, business service providers were slightly less pessimistic.

In April 2009, capital market interest averaged 3.8 percent, i.e. 0.1 percentage points up on March. The Dutch inflation rate stood at 1.8 percent. Selling prices in manufacturing industry were 12 percent lower than in April 2008.

Unemployment is rising quickly. In the period February-April 2009, seasonally adjusted unemployment averaged 338 thousand. The number of jobs in the first quarter was 27 thousand higher than in the first quarter of 2008, a growth by 0.3 percent. The growth rate has slowed down considerably relative to the preceding quarters. The number of job vacancies plummeted for the second quarter running. The number of hours worked in temp jobs decreased substantially in the first quarter of 2009.

Gross domestic product (GDP)

Gross domestic product (GDP)