Economic situation remains stable

The economic situation at the end of April has hardly changed compared with the end of March. Improvements and deteriorations almost cancelled each other out. The heart of the scatter in the Business Cycle Tracer is in the recovery stage, but ten of the fifteen indicators are still performing below their long-term average.

The consumer confidence indicator climbed 2 points in April to -5. The mood among consumers has improved considerably since the summer of 2013, but the indicator is still negative. Manufacturers are cautiously optimistic, although the mood was slightly less positive in April than in the preceding month. The producer confidence indicator stood at 0.3, versus 1.1 in March.

Current developments in the exports of goods, private sector investments and household consumption are positive as well. The volume of exports of goods was 1.4 percent up in February 2014 from February 2013. Private sector investments in tangible fixed assets were 9.2 percent higher. Household spending on goods and services was 1.2 percent down in February from twelve months previously.

In March, 521 businesses and institutions (excluding one-man businesses) were declared bankrupt. The average daily output generated by Dutch manufacturing industry was 5.2 percent up in February 2014 from February 2013.

The situation on the job market remains bleak. The number of job vacancies increased in the fourth quarter, just as the amount of hours worked in stage A temp jobs, but the number of jobs declined further. Seasonally adjusted unemployment stood at 684 thousand in March. With 8.7 percent, the unemployment rate in the Dutch labour force remains high.

The most recent figure on economic growth refers to the fourth quarter of 2013. Relative to the third quarter, the Dutch economy grew by 0.9 percent. Quarter-on-quarter growth figures are adjusted for calendar and seasonal effects. The Dutch economy grew 0.8 percent relative to the fourth quarter of 2013.

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.