Economic situation improves further

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According to the CBS Business Cycle Tracer, the economic situation has improved somewhat again in January compared to the preceding months. Statistics Netherlands (CBS) reports that all indicators published mid-January are performing 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 thirteen 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.

Consumers and producers positive

The mood among Dutch consumers has not changed in the past three months. It is now at its highest level since August 2007. Confidence among Dutch manufacturers improved in December compared to November. This is mainly due to the fact that manufacturers are more positive about their order books and their future output. Producer and consumer confidence are both above the level of their long-term average.

Household consumption, exports and investments growing

The total volume of goods exports grew by 5.5 percent in November 2016 relative to the same month last year. Growth was somewhat above the level of October. In November, exports of natural gas, petroleum derivatives and transport vehicles rose noticeably. Exports of Dutch products and re-exports were higher than one year previously.

Dutch consumer spending was 2.7 percent up in October 2016 from October 2015. Consumers spent more on durable goods like clothes, shoes, household appliances and home furnishing articles. They also spent more on food, beverages and tobacco products.

The volume of investments in tangible fixed assets grew by 0.6 percent in October relative to the same month in 2015. Year -on-year growth was considerably smaller than in prior months. Investments in passenger cars and infrastructural projects declined noticeably in October. Investments in residential property again grew significantly in October.

Manufacturing output continues to grow

The average daily output generated by the Dutch manufacturing industry was 2.9 percent up in November 2016 from November 2015. The growth rate was much higher than in October. Over the past fourteen months, manufacturing output has continually been above the level of the same month one year previously. The electrical equipment industry showed the strongest growth.

Number of bankruptcies declines

The number of bankruptcies fell by 88 in December 2016 relative to November. In November, the number of bankruptcies rose substantially.

Labour market improves further

The number of jobs held by employees and self-employed rose by 24 thousand in Q3 2016. The number of temp jobs increased significantly. Employment also improved in the trade sector and the sector hotels and restaurants. The number of new job vacancies grew by nearly 7 thousand, while unemployment fell by 37 thousand.

In Q3 2016, there were on average 9,996 thousand jobs. The number of jobs has grown for ten quarters in a row. Since Q1 2014, a total of approximately 250 thousand new jobs have been created.

Relative to Q3 2015, the total number of jobs in the Netherlands has grown by 92 thousand.

For the first time since early 2012, unemployment has fallen below 500 thousand. The number of unemployed stood at 499 thousand in November, i.e. 5.6 percent of the labour force. With an average of 7 thousand a month, unemployment declined less rapidly during the past three months than in the summer period.

Year-on-year, unemployment is now nearly 100 thousand lower, but still 190 thousand higher than shortly before to the onset of the recession in August 2008, when unemployment reached the lowest level in the recent years (310 thousand).

Turnover and hours worked in temp jobs further up

Turnover generated by temp agencies, job recruitment consultants and personnel managers grew by 1.0 percent in Q3 2016 relative to the preceding quarter. Growth is less substantial than in Q2. The number of hours worked in temp jobs also increased further in Q3. Growth is based on an increase in short-term as well as long-term employment contracts.

GDP growth 0.8 percent in Q3 2016

The gross domestic product (GDP) rose by 0.8 percent in Q3 2016 relative to the previous quarter as the second calculation of GDP conducted by CBS shows. GDP is a measure for the size of a country’s economy. Exports and household consumption were the main contributors to economic growth. The Dutch economy grew by 2.4 percent in Q3 2016 compared to the same quarter last year.

On Tuesday 14 February 2017, CBS will publish the first estimate on economic growth and employment in Q4 2016 and economic growth and employment developments over the entire year 2016.