Economic situation stable

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According to the Business Cycle Tracer, the economic situation is more or less the same in August as in the preceding months. Statistics Netherlands (CBS) reports that most indicators published mid-August 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 July, Dutch producer confidence was somewhat lower than in June, when the highest level in more than 5 years was recorded. Dutch consumer confidence also deteriorated, but remained positive. In particular consumers’ opinions on the economic climate were less positive. Producer and consumer confidence are both above the level of their long-term average.

Exports of goods, investments and consumption grow

In the second quarter of 2016, investments in transport equipment and residential property also increased considerably. Corporate investments in aircraft, lorries and semi-trailers grew. This is consistent with the positive mood among producers.

The growth of exports of goods and services was somewhat smaller in the second quarter of 2016 than in the previous quarter. That is due to a decrease in the exports of services.

Exports of Dutch product grew more than in the previous quarter. Dutch companies exported considerably more transport equipment compared to one year ago. In addition, exports of food, drinks and tobacco products also grew considerably. Re-exports (exports of earlier imported products) grew more than in the first quarter.

Consumer spending was also up in in the second quarter compared to one year previously. Dutch consumers spent more on services, such as hotels and restaurants. Spending on services accounts for more than half of total domestic consumer spending. Consumers also spent more on clothing and electric appliances.

Sustained growth manufacturing output

The average daily output generated by Dutch manufacturing industry was 1.6 percent up in June 2016 from the same month last year. The growth rate was higher than in May. Output realised in the sector transport equipment increased noticeably in June, but output slumped in the electrical equipment industry.

Fewer bankruptcies

The number of bankruptcies decreased by 16 in July 2016 relative to June. In June, the number of bankruptcies had increased.

More jobs and job vacancies

The number of jobs of employees and self-employed rose by 38 thousand in the second quarter of 2016. The number of temp jobs rose in particular. In the trade and hotel and restaurant sector, employment improved as well. In addition, the number of new job vacancies grew by 5 thousand and unemployment decreased by 16 thousand. Unemployment decreased in every age group.

In the second quarter of 2016, there were on average 9,976 jobs. Employment has risen for nine quarters in a row. The number of jobs has increased by nearly 230 thousand since the first quarter of 2014.

The total number of hours worked in temp jobs decreased by 1.5 percent in the first quarter 2016 relative to the fourth quarter of 2015, the first decline in almost three years. The decline 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 the first quarter of 2016, the Dutch economy continued to grow in the second quarter. According to the first estimate, quarter-on-quarter growth of the economy amounts to 0.6 percent. This is mainly due to higher investments and consumption. Net exports also made a positive contribution.

The Dutch economy grew by 2.3 percent in the second quarter of 2016 compared to the second quarter of 2015. The second quarter had two working days more than in 2015. After correction for working days, year-on-year growth was 1.8 percent.

On Friday 23 September this year, CBS will publish the second estimate on economic growth and employment in the second quarter of 2016.