Poor economic situation persists

The economic situation in the Netherlands at the end of April was about as poor as at the end of March. Improvements and deteriorations almost balanced each other out. The heart of the scatter in the Business Cycle Tracer is located deep in the recession stage. All indicators except exports 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.

In April, Dutch consumers were less pessimistic than in March. The mood among manufacturers deteriorated slightly in April.

Manufacturing output was nearly 2 percent down in February from February 2012. The volume of goods exports was 3 percent up. Private sector investments in tangible fixed assets decreased by nearly 15 percent. Domestic household spending on goods and services was 2.2 percent down in February from February 2012.

The capital market interest rate dropped to 1.7 percent in March. The inflation rate was 2.9 percent. Prices of existing owner-occupied dwellings were on average 7.0 percent down in March from March 2012. Selling prices of manufactured products were 0.9 percent down on one year previously.

Seasonally adjusted unemployment increased further in March and stood at 643 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.