Marginal improvement economic situation

31/07/2013 09:30

The economic situation at the end of July is slightly less negative than at the end of June. Although improvements outnumber deteriorations, the heart of the scatter in the Business Cycle Tracer is still located in the recession stage. All indicators currently perform below their long-term average.

Dutch consumer confidence is currently at a historically low level and deteriorated further in July. Manufacturers, on the other hand, were slightly less pessimistic in July than in June. Producer confidence remains negative, though.

Current developments in the exports of goods, private sector investments and household consumption confirm the recession stage of the economy. The volume of goods exports was 0.8 percent up from May 2012. This marginal growth was preceded by a contraction in April. Private sector investments in tangible fixed assets fell by 10.9 percent in May. Lastly, household spending decreased by 1.8 percent compared to twelve months previously.

Manufacturing output is also in decline. In May, production was 1.8 percent below the level of one year previously. In June, 672 businesses and institutions (excluding one-man businesses) were declared bankrupt. The number of bankruptcies in the first six months of 2013 was exceptionally high.

The labour market is also hit by the economic slump. Seasonally adjusted unemployment increased further in June and stood at 675 thousand. The number of jobs, the number of job vacancies and the amount of hours worked in temp jobs decreased further in the first quarter of 2013.

The most recent figures on economic growth refer to the first quarter of 2013. The Dutch economy shrank by 1.8 percent compared to the same period one year previously. Taking calendar and seasonal effects into account, the economy contracted by 0.4 percent in the first quarter compared to the fourth quarter of 2012.

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.