Economic situation less negative

The economic situation at the end of September was slightly better than at the end of August. Improvements outnumbered deteriorations. The heart of the scatter in the Business Cycle Tracer is still located in the recession stage, but is gradually moving toward recovery. Currently, fourteen of the fifteen indicators are still performing below their long-term average.

Dutch consumer confidence remained stable in September at -33. The mood among manufacturers deteriorated in September after several months of improvement. The producer confidence indicator stood at -2.8 in September.

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 1.9 percent up in July 2013 from July 2012. Private sector investments in tangible fixed assets fell by 8.6 percent relative to July 2012. Lastly, household spending fell by 2.2 percent compared to twelve months previously.

The decline in manufacturing output is slowing down. In July, production was 0.4 percent below the level of one year previously. In August, 608 businesses and institutions (excluding one-man businesses) were declared bankrupt. The number of bankruptcies in the first eight months of 2013 was 15 percent up from the same period last year.

The labour market is also hit by the economic slump. Seasonally adjusted unemployment fell to 683 thousand in August, but unemployment remains high. 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 figure on economic growth refers to the second quarter of 2013. The Dutch economy shrank by 1.7 percent relative to the same period one year previously. Relative to the first quarter,  the Dutch economy contracted 0.1 percent. Taking into account calendar and seasonal effects, this was the fourth quarter-on-quarter contraction in a row, but the decline is gradually levelling of.

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.