economic situation improves further

According to Statistics Netherlands’ Business Cycle Tracer, the economic situation improved slightly in August 2015 from July. Almost all indicators in the Tracer are performing better than their long-term trend.

Statistics Netherlands’ Business Cycle Tracer is a tool used to monitor the economic situation and economic developments. It uses fifteen key macro-economic indicators, which – together – provide a coherent picture of the state of the economy during the last month or quarter. In August, nearly all indicators in the Tracer are performing better than their long-term trend.

Business cycle tracer indicator (unweighted average of the 15 indicators in the Business Cycle Tracer)

Positive mood among producers and consumers

The mood among Dutch manufacturers remained positive in August and hardly changed compared to July. Optimism has prevailed among Dutch manufacturers since October 2014.

Consumer confidence improved slightly. The rise in consumer confidence is mainly due the fact that consumers are more positive about the economic climate. Producer and consumer confidence are both way above the level of their long-term average.

Consumer and producer confidence (seasonally adjusted)

Investments, household consumption and exports up

Investment readiness substantially improved in June 2015. The volume of investments in tangible fixed assets was up by 22.2 percent on June 2014. Higher investments in residential property were a major cause of the increase. Investments in infrastructural projects, vans, lorries and machinery also increased.

Dutch consumer spending on goods and services was up by 2.2 percent in June 2015 on the same month last year. Household spending on durable goods grew fastest. Just as in the preceding months, consumers spent more on home furnishings and household appliances. This is consistent with the positive developments on the housing market. Consumers also spent more on cars in June.

Goods exports grew slightly in June, with the volume 1.7 percent higher than in June 2014. Growth was less substantial than in the preceding months. Exports of transport equipment and oil derivatives recorded the highest growth.

Fourth month of year-on-year growth in manufacturing output

The average daily output generated by Dutch manufacturing industry was 3.6 percent higher in June 2015 than in June 2014. Manufacturing output was higher for the fourth month in a row although it still suffered the effect from a major closedown in the tobacco industry. Without this effect output growth would have been even higher.

Downward trend in bankruptcies

The number of bankruptcies, adjusted for the number of court session days, was approximately the same in July 2015 as in June 2014. The number of bankruptcies has been at the lowest level since January 2009 and the downward trend continues.

Less unemployment, job market recovers further

In July, unemployment declined again. Over the past three months, unemployment declined by 22 thousand, resulting in an unemployment rate of 6.8 percent.

In the second quarter of 2015, the number of jobs increased by 19 thousand compared to the previous quarter. The number of job vacancies in the Netherlands went up by 6 thousand.

The total number of hours worked in temp jobs has been rising since early 2013. This is the most substantial increase in almost five years. Both the number of long-term temporary employment contracts (secondment and payrolling) and short-term employment contracts increased.

Gross Domestic Product (volume, seasonally adjusted)

Economic growth despite decline in natural gas production

The first estimate published on 14 August on the second quarter of 2015 showed that the Dutch economy grew for the fifth quarter in a row. Quarter-on-quarter growth was 0.1 percent. Currently the economy is almost back at its 2008 pre-recession level.

The economic growth rate fell when the volume of natural gas extracted in the Netherlands was cut back substantially. Dutch government scaled down natural gas extraction to reduce the risk of earthquakes in the province of Groningen. Economic growth was up by 1.6 percent in the second quarter from the same period last year.

On Wednesday 23 September 2015, Statistics Netherlands will publish the results of the second estimate of economic growth and of the number of jobs in the second quarter of 2015.

More figures can be found in the Business cycle dossier.

For more information on economic indicators, see the Economic Monitor.