Economic situation stable over the past months

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According to the Business Cycle Tracer, the economic situation is more or less the same in July as in the preceding month. Statistics Netherlands (CBS) reports that most indicators published mid-July 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

In June, Dutch producer confidence reached the highest level in more than 5 years. The measurement was conducted in the first half of June, i.e. prior to the UK referendum about EU membership.

Dutch consumers are less positive in July than in June. Consumers’ opinions on the economic climate in particular deteriorated. This measurement was conducted after the UK referendum about EU membership on 23 June. Producer and consumer confidence are both above the level of their long-term average.

Exports of goods, investments and consumption show growth

Exports of goods again showed considerable growth. The total volume of goods exports grew by 6.2 percent in May 2016 compared to May 2015. The growth rate was about the same as in April. Exports of transport vehicles again rose noticeably.

Investments continued to grow. The volume of investments in tangible fixed assets grew by 4.4 percent in May 2016 relative to the same month last year. The increase is less substantial than in the preceding month and almost entirely attributable to rising investments in residential property.

Consumer spending was also up in May. Dutch consumers spent 1.4 percent more in May 2016 than in May 2015. In April, year-on-year consumer spending did no change. Consumer spending on food, beverages and tobacco products and on durable goods was significantly higher.

Steady growth manufacturing output

The average daily output generated by Dutch manufacturing industry was 1.1 percent up in May 2016 from the same month last year. Relative to April, growth slowed down. Output realised in the sector transport equipment increased noticeably in May, but output slumped in the machinery industry.

More bankruptcies

The number of bankruptcies increased by 38 in June 2016 relative to May, after a three-month period of falling bankruptcies.

Unemployment continues to fall

Unemployment declined further. In June, 550 thousand people, i.e. 6.1 percent of the labour force were unemployed, as against 588 thousand six months ago.

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.