Economic situation unchanged

The economic situation at the end of April was about the same as it was at the end of March. Most indicators in the Business Cycle Tracer are still in the recession stage. Fourteen of the fifteen indicators are below their long-term average.

The Dutch economy contracted by 2.2 percent in the fourth quarter of 2009 compared to the same quarter of 2008. The contraction was considerably smaller than in the first three quarters of 2009. Compared to the preceding quarter the economy grew by 0.2 percent in the fourth quarter, taking calendar and seasonal effects into account. This is the second quarter showing positive growth, after four consecutive quarters of negative quarter-on-quarter growth.

The mood among consumers deteriorated in April. Producer confidence in manufacturing improved. Providers of business services remained positive about their future turnover.

In February, the volume of goods exports was 11 percent up on one year previously. Production in manufacturing increased: the average daily output was 4 percent higher. Household spending was 1.1 percent down on February 2009.

Capital market interest did not change in March. The long-term interest rate stood at 3.4 percent. Dutch inflation rose to 1.0 percent. Selling prices in manufacturing industry were nearly 8 percent higher than in March 2009.

Unemployment increased by 6 thousand in the period January – March. The number of jobs in the fourth quarter was 147 thousand down on one year previously. At the end of December there were 122 thousand unfilled vacancies, i.e. 6 thousand less than at the end of September. In the fourth quarter, the decrease in the number of hours worked in temp jobs slowed down further.

Gross domestic product (GDP)

Gross domestic product (GDP)