Economic situation virtually unchanged

The economic situation at the end of April was about the same as it was at the end of March. Improvements and downswings balanced each other out. The heart of the scatter in the Tracer is still located in the recovery stage. In April, 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.

In April, confidence among consumers and manufacturers deteriorated slightly. Business services providers remained optimistic about their future turnover.

In February, manufacturing output increased by more than 9 percent relative to one year previously. The volume of goods exports grew by nearly 7 percent. Private sector investments in tangible fixed assets were 6 percent higher than in February 2010. With 0.3 percent, consumption growth was modest.

The capital market interest rate averaged 3.4 percent in March, the same rate as in the preceding month. Inflation was 2.0 percent, marginally higher than in February. Selling prices in manufacturing industry were 12.7 percent higher in March than twelve months previously. 

In March, seasonally adjusted unemployment stood at 395 thousand, i.e. 5 thousand below the level of February. 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.