Marginal improvement economic situation

The economic situation at the end of August is slightly less negative than at the end of July. Improvements just outnumbered deteriorations, but the heart of the scatter in the Business Cycle Tracer is still located in the recession stage. Fourteen of the fifteen indicators currently perform below their long-term average.

Dutch consumers were less negative in August than in July. The consumer confidence indicator climbed from -38 to -33. Manufacturers were also less pessimistic. Producer confidence climbed to -1.6 in August. Although the indicator improved for the fourth consecutive month, producer confidence is still negative.

Current developments in the exports of goods, private sector investments and household consumption confirm the recession stage of the economy. Exports growth is modest. The volume of goods exports was 0.9 percent up in June 2013 from June 2012. Private sector investments in tangible fixed assets fell by 15.2 percent in June. Lastly, household spending decreased by 2.4 percent compared to twelve months previously.

In June, production was 1.0 percent below the level of one year previously. The contraction was less substantial than in May. In July, 779 businesses and institutions (excluding one-man businesses) were declared bankrupt. The number of bankruptcies in the first seven months of 2013 was exceptionally high. 

The labour market is also hit by the economic slump. Seasonally adjusted unemployment increased further in July and stood at 694 thousand. The number of jobs, the number of job vacancies and the amount of hours worked in stage A temp jobs fell further in the second quarter.

The most recent figures on economic growth refer to the second 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 0.2 percent in the second quarter compared to 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