Economic situation improves further

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

The consumer confidence indicator climbed 5 points in January, to reach -12. The mood among consumers has improved considerably, but the indicator is still negative. Manufacturers, on the other hand, are cautiously optimistic. The producer confidence indicator increased from 0.1 in December to 0.7 in January.

The volume of exports of goods was 1.4 percent up in November 2013 from November 2012. Private sector investments in tangible fixed assets increased by 2.6 percent. Household spending grew by 0.2 percent relative to twelve months previously.

Industrial production was 0.4 percent up in November 2013 from November 2012. In December, 595 businesses and institutions (excluding one-man businesses) were declared bankrupt. The number of bankruptcies in 2013 was up by 12 percent from 2012.

The labour market still suffers from the economic slump. Seasonally adjusted unemployment increased to 668 thousand in December. With 8.5 percent of the Dutch labour force, unemployment levels remain 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 0.2 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.