Economic situation improves

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According to the CBS Business Cycle Tracer, the economic situation improved in August. Statistics Netherlands (CBS) reports that all indicators in the Tracer published mid-August are performing above the level of their long-term trend.

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.

Manufacturers and consumers positive

The consumer confidence indicator improved in July. Opinions of Dutch consumers on the economic climate improved. Willingness to buy hardly changed.

Confidence among Dutch manufacturers deteriorated slightly in July. Manufacturers were mainly less positive about their future output. However, producer and consumer confidence are both above the level of their long-term average.

Exports, household consumption and investments up

Exports of goods and services grew by 4.5 percent in Q2 2017 relative to Q2 2016. Dutch companies exported mainly more chemical products, machinery and appliances. Exports of Dutch products and re-exports (i.e. exports of imported products) increased at approximately the same rate.

Dutch consumer spending was 2.5 percent up in Q2 2017 year-on-year. The growth rate is higher compared to the preceding quarters. Consumers mainly spent more on clothing, electric appliances and home furnishing articles. Consumer spending on food, beverages and tobacco products was also up from one year previously.

Dutch consumers also spent more on services, e.g. in hotels and restaurants. Furthermore, foreign consumers spending also grew compared to one year previously. Easter fell in Q2 this year; in Q1 last year.

The volume of investments in tangible fixed assets was 4.1 percent up from Q2 2016. Investments in residential property and passenger cars increased significantly.

Manufacturing output up in June

Average daily output generated by the Dutch manufacturing industry was 3.3 percent up in June 2017 from June 2016. The growth rate was slightly lower than in May. Over more than one and a half years, manufacturing output has continually been above the level of the same month one year previously. The strongest growth was seen in the transport equipment industry.

Fewer bankruptcies in July

In July 2017, the number of bankruptcies was 34 down from June. The decline follows an increase in May and June. Most bankruptcies in July were recorded in the trade sector.

Labour market improves further

The number of jobs held by employees and self-employed rose by 51 thousand in Q2 2017 relative to Q1 2017. The number of job vacancies grew by 20 thousand in Q2 2017, the most substantial quarterly increase in over 10 years. Unemployment declined by 19 thousand and amounted to 452 thousand in Q2. The unemployment rate stood at 5.0 percent.

Turnover temp agencies continues to rise

Turnover generated by temp employment agencies, providers of job placement services and payroll services grew by 1.1 percent in Q1 2017 relative to Q4 2016. Growth was slightly smaller than in the preceding quarter. The total number of temp hours also increased further in Q1.

GDP growth 1.5 percent in Q2 2017

Gross domestic product (GDP) rose by 1.5 percent in Q2 2017 relative to Q1 2017 as shown in the first estimate of GDP conducted by CBS. Exports and household consumption were the main contributors to economic growth. Investments also grew. The GDP growth rate was 3.3 percent in Q2 2017 compared to Q2 2016.

On Friday 22 September 2017, CBS will publish the second estimate of GDP and employment in Q2 2017.