Economic situation fairly stable

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According to Statistics Netherlands’ Business Cycle Tracer, the economic situation is more or less the same in June as in the preceding month. Statistics Netherlands (CBS) reports that most indicators in the Business Cycle Tracer published mid-May performed above the level of their long-term average.

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 Dutch economy as published by CBS during the last month or quarter.

Manufacturers and consumers positive

Producer confidence was slightly lower in May than in April. Manufacturers were less optimistic about their future output, but since October 2014, optimism has prevailed among Dutch manufacturers.

The mood among Dutch consumers improved in June compared to May. They were much more positive about the economic climate. Their willingness to buy improved marginally. Producer and consumer confidence are both above the level of their long-term average.


Growth investments and exports of goods, consumption stable

The volume of investments in tangible fixed assets grew by 8.4 percent in April 2016 relative to the same month last year. The increase is higher than in the preceding month. Investments in residential property showed sustained growth. Companies also invested more in infrastructural projects, aircraft, trucks and semi-trailers relative to April 2015.

The volume of goods exports grew by 6.7 percent in April 2016 compared to April 2015. The increase was significantly higher than in March. Exports of transport vehicles grew noticeably, including an oil rig in the North Sea. They also exported more passenger cars, trucks and (basic) metal products.

On balance, Dutch consumer spending was the same as in April 2015. Consumers spent less on food, beverages, tobacco products and durable goods, but more on services.

Growth Dutch manufacturing output

The average daily output generated by Dutch manufacturing industry was 2.8 percent up in April 2016 from the same month last year. The growth rate was somewhat higher than in March. The manufacture of transport equipment and electrical appliances grew significantly in April; the production of the machinery industry fell considerably.

Downward trend bankruptcies continues

The number of business failures declined further. The number of bankruptcies reported in May this year fell by 46 compared to April, whereas in April it fell by 9 compared to March.

More jobs and job vacancies

The number of jobs of employees and self-employed rose by 13 thousand in Q1 2016 relative to Q4 2015. The number of new job vacancies rose by nearly 8 thousand in Q1.
Employment has risen for eight quarters in a row. The number of jobs increased by nearly 112 thousand compared to Q1 2015.

In total, 560 thousand people were unemployed in the Netherlands in May 2016, i.e. 6.3 percent of the labour force. The number of unemployed dropped by an average of 7 thousand a month during the past three months and has declined by 57 thousand relative to May 2015.

The total number of hours worked in temp jobs decreased by 1.5 percent in Q1 2016 relative to Q4 2015, the first decline in almost three years. The decrease was due to a drop in the number of hours worked in long-term temporary contracts. The number of hours worked in short- term employment contracts, however, increased.

Steady economic growth

Relative to Q4 2015, the Dutch economy continued to grow in Q1 2016. According to the second estimate, economic growth is 0.5 percent. The economic recovery in Q1 is broadly-based; consumption, investments and exports all made a positive contribution.

The Dutch economy grew 1.5 percent in Q1 2016 compared to Q1 2015. The growth figure was affected negatively as the extraction of natural gas was severely reduced.

On Friday 12 August this year, CBS will publish the first estimate on economic growth and employment in Q2 2016.