Economic situation slightly better

The economic situation was slightly better at the end of December than at the end of November. The heart of the indicators in the Business Cycle Tracer has taken up a better position in the recession stage, although all indicators are still below the level of their long-term average. The Business Cycle Tracer Indicator improved for the fourth month in succession.

The Dutch economy contracted by 3.7 percent in the third quarter compared to the same quarter of 2008. The contraction was smaller than in the first two quarters of 2009. Compared to the preceding quarter the economy grew by 0.5 percent, taking calendar and seasonal effects into account. This positive growth came after four consecutive quarters of negative quarter-on-quarter growth.

Consumers are less pessimistic. Consumer confidence improved from -14 in November to -11 in December. The mood among manufacturers deteriorated in December. Providers of business services were less optimistic about their future turnover than in November.

In October, industrial production was 7 percent down on twelve months previously. . The volume of goods exports dropped by 6 percent. Households remained cautious about buying goods and services. They spent 2.6 percent less than one year previously.

In November, capital market interest remained stable at 3.5 percent. Dutch inflation climbed further, to 1.0 percent. Selling prices in manufacturing industry were 4 percent down on November 2008.

In the period September – November 2009, seasonally adjusted unemployment stood at 412 thousand, 9 thousand up on August - October. The number of jobs in the third quarter was 140 thousand down on one year previously. The decrease in the number of hours worked in temp jobs is slowing down. At the end of September there were 128 thousand unfilled vacancies, almost equalling the number at the end of June.

Gross domestic product (GDP)

Gross domestic product (GDP)