Economic situation remains unchanged

According to Statistics Netherlands’ Business Cycle Tracer, the economic situation August was about the same as in July. Economic recovery has come to a virtual standstill over the last months. In August, improvements and deteriorations again cancelled each other out. Just over half of  indicators in the Business Cycle Tracer show an upward trend, i.e. their growth rate is increasing.

Consumer confidence fell in August. Consumers were more cautious about the future. The mood among manufacturers also deteriorated. The producer confidence indicator fell from 1.2 in July to 0.0 in August.

Current developments in the exports of goods, private sector investments and household consumption show a mixed picture. The volume of exports of goods was 2.4 percent up in June 2014 from twelve months previously. Investments in tangible fixed assets were 4.3 percent down. Household spending on goods and services was at the same level in June 2014 as in June 2013.

The average daily output generated by Dutch manufacturing industry was 1.3 percent down in June from twelve months previously. Output fell for the first time in 2014. Furthermore, 621 businesses and institutions (excluding one-man businesses) were declared bankrupt in July, i.e. 21 percent fewer than in July 2013.

The labour market shows improvements. In July, seasonally adjusted unemployment fell further, to reach 645 thousand. With 8.2 percent, the unemployment rate in the Dutch labour force remains high. The number of jobs of employees decreased further in the second quarter, but the decline is slowing down. The number of job vacancies, on the other hand, increased substantially in the second quarter relative to the first quarter. The total amount of hours worked in temp jobs grew in the second quarter of 2014 relative to the first quarter.

The most recent figure on economic growth refers to the second quarter of 2014. Relative to the first quarter of 2014, the Dutch economy grew by  0.5 percent. Quarter-on-quarter growth figures are adjusted for calendar and seasonal effects. The Dutch economy grew by 0.9 percent in the second quarter relative to the same period one year ago.

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.