Economic situation has obviously improved

The economic situation looks obviously better at the end of February relative to the end of January. Indicators in the Business Cycle Tracer improved further across the board. The heart of the scatter in the Tracer is still located in the recovery stage. In February, nine of the fifteen indicators are still below their long-term average.

The volume of the gross domestic product (GDP) was 2.4 percent higher in the fourth quarter of 2010 than in the fourth quarter of 2009. In the third quarter, economic growth was 1.8 percent. Taking calendar and seasonal effects into account, the economy grew by 0.6 percent in the fourth quarter compared to the preceding quarter.

Consumer confidence improved in February for the second month running. The mood among business services providers also improved. The mood among manufacturers, on the other hand, deteriorated slightly.

In January, the capital market interest rate remained stable at 3.2 percent. Inflation rose slightly to 2.0 percent. Selling prices in manufacturing industry were 11 percent higher than in January 2010. 

The situation on the labour market has improved. Seasonally adjusted unemployment dropped further to 398 thousand in January. The number of jobs in the fourth quarter of 2010 was 0.3 percent higher than in the third quarter. The number of hours worked in temp jobs increased by more than 2 percent. There were also slightly more vacancies in the fourth quarter than in the third quarter.

Gross domestic product (GDP)

Gross domestic product (GDP)

More figures can be found in dossier Business cycle.