Economic situation improves

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© Hollandse Hoogte
According to the CBS Business Cycle Tracer, the economic situation has improved in October compared to one month previously. Statistics Netherlands (CBS) reports that all indicators in the Tracer published mid-October 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 macro-economic 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 deteriorated slightly in September compared to August. Opinions of Dutch consumers on the economic climate were less positive. Confidence among Dutch manufacturers increased in September and reached its highest level in 9.5 years. Producer and consumer confidence are both far above the level of their long-term average.

Exports, household consumption and investments up

The volume of goods exports grew by over 7 percent in August 2017 relative to the same month one year previously. Growth was slightly higher than in July. In August, the export of cars, machinery, appliances and chemical products increased most notably. Both exports of goods produced in the Netherlands and re-exports were higher in volume than one year previously.

The volume of investments in tangible fixed assets was 9.3 percent up in July 2017 compared to the same month last year. This is mainly due to higher investments in airplanes, residential property, machinery and passenger cars.

Dutch consumer spending was 2.8 percent up in July 2017 year-on-year. The growth rate has been above 2 percent for already four months in a row. Consumers mainly spent more on home furnishing articles.

Manufacturing output nearly 4 percent up in August

Average daily output generated by the Dutch manufacturing industry was nearly 4 percent up in August 2017 compared to August 2016. The growth rate was slightly higher than in July. For almost two years now, manufacturing output has continually been above the level of the same period year-on-year. The strongest growth was seen in the transport equipment industry.

Slightly more bankruptcies in September

The number of corporate bankruptcies has increased slightly. There were 4 more bankruptcies in September than in August 2017. In August, the number of bankruptcies reached its lowest level since the beginning of this century.

Labour market improves further

The number of jobs held by employees and self-employed rose by 53 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 (ILO definition) amounted to 426 thousand in Q2. This number declined by 10 thousand per month on average over the past three months. The unemployment rate stood at 4.7 percent.

Turnover temp agencies continues to rise

Turnover generated by temping agencies, employment agencies and payroll companies grew by 2.0 percent in Q2 2017 relative to Q1 2017. This growth is higher than in the preceding quarter. The total number of temp hours increased by over 4 percent, the highest increase since Q2 2007.

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 second 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 Tuesday 14 November 2017, CBS will publish the first estimate of GDP and employment in Q3 2017.