Statistics Netherlands (CBS) reports today that the economic situation in the Netherlands remains invariably positive. Nearly all indicators in the Business Cycle Tracer performed above the level of their long-term average. Relative to the previous month, the economic situation has hardly changed in October 2015.
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.
Producers and consumers optimistic
Although the mood among Dutch manufacturers deteriorated in October, the majority of them are still optimistic. Consumer confidence improved considerably. Producer and consumer confidence are both far above the level of their long-term average.
Investments, household consumption and export of goods up
Investments have grown again substantially in August. The volume of investments in tangible fixed assets was up by more than 13 percent relative to August 2014. This is mainly due to higher investments in residential property, infrastructural projects, cars, and machinery.
The export of goods also grew considerably in August; the volume of exports was 5.4 percent up from August 2014. This is the highest increase since February. Exports of petroleum derivatives and metal products grew noticeably in August. Exports of Dutch products and re-exports also increased.
Dutch consumer spending on goods and services was 1.4 percent up in August 2015 from the same month last year. Consumers spent more on food, drinks and tobacco.
Manufacturing output marginally down
The average daily output generated by Dutch manufacturing industry was 0.6 percent down in August 2015 than in August last year. This is mainly due to the production decline in machinery manufacturing. Manufacturing output still suffers the effects from a major closedown in the tobacco industry. If this is not taken into account, manufacturing output would probably have grown.
Lowest number of bankruptcies in 7 years
Adjusted for court session days, the number of bankruptcies declined marginally in September 2015 compared to the preceding month and reached the lowest level since October 2008.
No further reduction unemployment
Early this year, the number of unemployed started to fall, but in the past three months the decline has come to a standstill. Statistics Netherlands (CBS) reports that 609 thousand people (6.8 percent in the labour force) were unemployed in September, i.e. the same percentage as in July and August.
No data on quarterly indicators available in October
In the second quarter of 2015, the number of jobs of employees and self-employed increased by 29 thousand compared to the first quarter of 2015 and by 93 thousand compared to the second quarter of 2014. The number of unfilled job vacancies in the Netherlands rose by 6 thousand.
The total number of hours worked in temp jobs has risen since early 2013. The second quarter recorded the most substantial increase in almost five years. The number of long-term temporary employment contracts (secondment and payrolling) as well as short-term employment contracts grew further.
Sustained economic growth despite downscaling natural gas extraction
The second estimate published on 23 September for the second quarter of 2015 showed that the Dutch economy grew for the fifth quarter in a row. Quarter-on-quarter growth was 0.2 percent. The economy is currently back at the level prior to the recession, which set in in the latter half of 2008.
The economic growth rate for the second quarter declined as natural gas extraction in the Netherlands was cut back substantially. The Dutch government decided to scale down natural gas extraction to reduce the risk of earthquakes in the province of Groningen.
The size of the economy grew 1.8 percent in the second quarter of 2015 relative to the same period last year.