Economic situation improves further

The economic situation looks slightly better at the end of March than at the end of February, mainly due to the upward trend in manufacturing industry. The heart of the scatter in the Tracer is still located in the recovery stage. In March, nine of the fifteen indicators are still below their long-term average.

The volume of the gross domestic product (GDP) was 2.5 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.

The consumer confidence indicator fell in March, after improvements in January and February. Confidence among manufacturers, on the other hand, improved substantially. Business services providers were very optimistic about their future turnover.

In January, manufacturing output increased by 7 percent relative to one year previously. The volume of goods exports also grew by 7 percent. Private sector investments in tangible fixed assets were 6 percent higher than in January 2010. Consumption growth was modest (0.7 percent).

The capital market interest rate averaged 3.4 percent in February. Inflation was 1.9 percent, marginally lower than in January. Selling prices in manufacturing industry were 12.6 percent higher than twelve months previously. 

In February, seasonally adjusted unemployment virtually remained unchanged. 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.