Economic situation improves further

The economic situation at the end of November was slightly better than at the end of October. Improvements outnumbered deteriorations. The heart of the scatter in the Business Cycle Tracer moved to the recovery stage. Currently, thirteen of the fifteen indicators are still performing below their long-term average.

Dutch consumer confidence increased from -27 to -18 in November. The producer confidence indicator increased marginally, from -0.5 to -0.4. Confidence among producers and consumers is rising, but both sentiment indicators are still negative.

The confidence indicators are improving, but current developments in the exports of goods, private sector investments and household consumption still confirm the recession stage of the economy. The volume of exports of goods was 0.5 percent down in September 2013 from September 2012. Private sector investments in tangible fixed assets fell by 2.9 percent in September relative to one year previously. Lastly, household spending fell by 2.1 percent in September compared to September 2012.

In September, production was 0.4 percent above last year’s level. In October, 743 businesses and institutions (excluding one-man businesses) were declared bankrupt. The number of bankruptcies in the first ten months of 2013 was up by 14 percent on the same period last year.

The labour market is also hit by the economic slump. Seasonally adjusted unemployment fell to to 674 thousand in October, but unemployment remains high. The number of jobs fell further in the third quarter. On the other hand, a two-year period of decline in the number of job vacancies came to an end. There were 3 thousand more unfilled job vacancies in the third than in the second quarter. The amount of hours worked in stage A temp jobs was 0.5 percent up from the second quarter.

The most recent figure on economic growth refers to the third quarter of 2013. Relative to the second quarter,  the Dutch economy grew by 0.1 percent. Calendar and seasonal effects are taken into account in the quarter-on-quarter growth figures. The Dutch economy shrank by 0.6 percent relative to the same period one year previously.

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.