Economic situation improves further

The economic situation at the end of December is better than at the end of November. Improvements outnumber deteriorations. The heart of the scatter in the Business Cycle Tracer is located in the recovery stage, but thirteen of the fifteen indicators are still performing below their long-term average.

The mood among consumers improved further in December. Dutch consumer confidence increased from -18 to -16. The producer confidence indicator increased marginally in December, from -0.4 to -0.1. 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 0.4 percent down in October 2013 from October 2012. Household spending fell by 1.1 percent. Private sector investments in tangible fixed assets, on the other hand, increased by 4.6 percent.

Industrial production was 2.1 percent up in October from October 2012. In September, production also increased relative to twelve months previously. In November, 576 businesses and institutions (excluding one-man businesses) were declared bankrupt. The number of bankruptcies in the first eleven months of 2013 was up by 13 percent on the same period last year.

The labour market is also hit by the economic slump. Seasonally adjusted unemployment fell in November. With 8.2 percent of the Dutch labour force unemployment levels remain high, though. 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 0.2 percent. Calendar and seasonal effects are taken into account in the quarter-on-quarter growth figures. The Dutch economy shrank by 0.4 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.