Economic situation is improving

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According to the Business Cycle Tracer, the economic situation improved in September. Statistics Netherlands (CBS) reports that all indicators published mid-September 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

The mood among Dutch consumers is much more positive in September than in August. This is mainly because consumers are more optimistic about the economic climate. Consumers’ willingness to buy is also improving. In August, producer confidence was far below the level of the preceding month. However, optimism still prevails among Dutch manufacturers. Producer and consumer confidence are both above the level of their long-term average.

Investments, exports of goods and consumption growing

The volume of investments in tangible fixed assets grew by 5.3 percent in July 2016 relative to the same month last year. The year-on-year increase is less substantial than in the preceding month. Investments in residential property entirely account for the growth. Investments in passenger cars and machinery declined.

The volume of goods exports grew by 4.5 percent in July 2016 relative to July 2015. Growth was more substantial than in June. Re-exports (exports of previously imported products) grew most noticeably.

Dutch consumer spending on goods and services was 2.2 percent up in July 2016 from July 2015. Consumers spent considerably more on durable goods, like household appliances and cars.

Sustained growth manufacturing output

The average daily output generated by Dutch manufacturing industry was 2.5 percent up in July 2016 from the same month last year. The growth rate was somewhat lower than in June. Over the past ten months, manufacturing output has always been above the level of the same month one year previously. Output realised in the food sector increased most noticeably in July.

Lowest number of bankruptcies in 8 years

The number of bankruptcies decreased further, by 88 in August 2016 relative to July. Adjusted for court session days, the number of bankruptcies reached the lowest level since August 2008. Again, most bankruptcies were filed in the trade sector.

Labour market improves further

Unemployment continues to fall. Among over-45s in particular, unemployment has fallen substantially during the past few months. In August 521 thousand people were unemployed (5.8 percent of the labour force), versus 581 thousand six months ago (6.5 percent in the labour force).

The number of jobs of employees and self-employed rose by 35 thousand in Q2 2016. The number of temp jobs increased sharply. Employment also improved in the trade sector and the sector hotel and restaurants. The number of new job vacancies grew by 5 thousand.

In Q2 2016, there were on average 9.974 thousand jobs. Employment has now risen for nine quarters in a row. The number of jobs has increased by nearly 225 thousand since Q1 2014.

The number of hours worked in temp jobs is rising again. In Q2 2016 the number of temp hours increased by 2.9 percent relative to Q1 2016. The number of temp hours fell by 1.4 percent in Q1. Both the number of hours worked in short-term and long-term temporary contracts increased in Q2.

Steady economic growth

The Dutch economy continued to grow in Q2. According to the second estimate too, quarter-on-quarter economic growth 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 Q2 2016 compared to the same quarter last year. Q2 has two working days more than Q2 2015. After correction for working days, year-on-year growth was 1.8 percent.

On Tuesday 15 November 2016, CBS will publish the first estimate on economic growth and employment in Q3 2016.