Economic situation in the Netherlands more favourable than one year ago

By the end of last year, the Dutch economy was in the recovery stage. The situation was very different from the end of 2012, when the economy was in deep recession. In the first six months of 2013, the economic situation worsened to reach the lowest point in April and May. Subsequently, the economic climate gradually improved, as the Business Cycle Tracer, published by Statistics Netherlands shows. The Business Cycle Tracer provides a picture of the economic situation by means of 15 indicators.

Business Cycle Tracer developments over the period December 2012-December 2013

Business Cycle Tracer developments over the period December 2012-December 2013

6 indicators still in the red

In the course of 2013, more and more economic indicators moved from the recession stage (red) to the recovery stage (yellow). At the end of December 2012, 13 indicators were still in the red, versus only 6 at the end of December 2013. Manufacturers’ opinions on orders received, consumer confidence and producer confidence improved significantly.  The capital market rate (the interest rate on the most recent ten-year government loan) has also risen. Lastly, household consumption, consumers’ opinions on whether it is a favourable time to buy durable goods, unemployment and manufacturing output were less negative than at the end of 2012.

Unemployment, on the other hand, is growing. The unemployment indicator was deep in the red. Two other labour market-related indicators, i.e. vacancies and temp jobs, were also in the red. The same applies to exports, household consumption and gross domestic product (GDP). The growth rate of most indicators in the Business Cycle Tracer improved during the latter half of 2013, but is still below their long-term average.

André Mares