Economic situation deteriorates

The economic situation in the Netherlands was more unfavourable at the end of March than at the end of February. Deteriorations outnumbered improvements. The heart of the scatter in the Business Cycle Tracer is located deep in the recession stage. All indicators but one are currently below their long-term average.

The Dutch economy shrank by 1.2 percent in the fourth quarter of 2012 compared to the same period one year previously. Taking calendar and seasonal effects into account, the economy contracted by 0.4 percent in the fourth quarter compared to the preceding quarter.

Dutch consumer confidence improved marginally in March, but remained at a historically low level. The mood among manufacturers deteriorated slightly.

In January, the volume of goods exports was nearly 5 percent up on January 2012. Domestic household spending on goods and services decreased by 2.3 percent. Manufacturing output was 3 percent down. Private sector investments in tangible fixed assets were more than 11 percent down on one year previously.

The capital market interest rate climbed to 1.8 percent in February. The inflation rate was 3.0 percent. Prices of existing owner-occupied dwellings were on average 8.3 percent down on February 2012. Selling prices of manufactured products were 0.3 percent higher than one year previously.

Seasonally adjusted unemployment increased further in February and stood at 613 thousand. In the fourth quarter of 2012, the number of jobs fell and the number of job vacancies declined. The amount of hours worked in temp jobs was also lower than in the preceding quarter.

Gross domestic product (GDP)

Gross domestic product (GDP)

More figures can be found in dossier Business cycle.

For more information on economic indicators, the reader is referred to the Economic Monitor.