Economic situation improves

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

Dutch consumer confidence increased from -33 to -27 in October. The mood among manufacturers also improved substantially. The producer confidence indicator stood at -0.5.

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 2.2 percent up in August 2013 from August 2012. Private sector investments in tangible fixed assets fell by 7.0 percent relative to one year previously. Lastly, household spending fell by 2.0 percent compared to August 2012.

In August, production was 2.3 percent below the level of one year previously. In September, 595 businesses and institutions (excluding one-man businesses) were declared bankrupt. The number of bankruptcies in the first nine 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 rose to 685 thousand in September. 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.