Economic situation deteriorates further

The economic situation at the end of June was slightly worse than at the end of May. This is mainly caused by the dip in household consumption. 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. Exports and investments were severely hit. The economy shrank 2.6 percent relative to the preceding quarter. This is the most substantial quarter-on-quarter contraction ever observed.

Consumer confidence hardly changed. This indicator dropped from -23 in May to -24 in June. Manufacturers were slightly less pessimistic in June than in May. Producer confidence improved steadily, after an all-time low in February. It is still negative, though. The mood among business service providers deteriorated slightly, compared with May.

In May 2009, capital market interest averaged 3.9 percent, i.e. up 0.1 percentage point on April. The Dutch inflation rate stood at 1.6 percent. Selling prices in manufacturing were 13 percent lower than one year previously.

In April 2009, manufacturing output was down 13 percent on April 2008. The volume of goods exports was nearly 15 percent down on twelve months previously. The volume of consumption expenditure also decreased. Households spent 3.6 percent less than in April 2008.

Unemployment is rising further. In the period March – May, seasonally adjusted unemployment averaged 348 thousand. There were 23 thousand more jobs in the first quarter of 2009 than in the first quarter of 2008, a 0.3 percent increase. 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)