Economic situation improves slightly

26/03/2018 15:00
© Hollandse Hoogte
According to the CBS Business Cycle Tracer, the economic situation has improved slightly in March compared to the previous month. Statistics Netherlands (CBS) reports that all indicators in the Tracer published mid-March 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.

Mood among consumers hardly changes, producer confidence at record high

The mood among Dutch consumers has hardly changed in March. Opinions of Dutch consumers on the economic climate are slightly more positive. Willingness to buy remains stable.

Producer confidence increased to a record high in February. Manufacturers were mainly more positive about their future output.

Investments, exports, and household consumption up

In January, the volume of investments in tangible fixed assets was 12.1 percent up in January relative to the same month last year. In the preceding month, the volume was slightly down. January’s growth was due to higher investments in residential property, passenger cars, airplanes and machinery.

The total volume of goods exports grew by 5.5 percent in January year-on-year. Relative growth was smaller than in the two previous months. In January, exports of machinery, appliances and cars increased again most notably.

Dutch household consumption was 0.7 percent up in January over January 2017. The growth rate was lower than in the previous months, mainly as a result of considerably lower natural gas consumption.

Manufacturing output over 7 percent up in January

Average daily output generated by the Dutch manufacturing industry was 7.1 percent up in January compared to the same month last year. This is the highest growth rate since March 2011. For over two years now, manufacturing output has continually been above the level of the same period year-on-year. The strongest growth in January 2018 was again seen in the machinery industry.

Lowest level bankruptcies of this century

The number of corporate bankruptcies has decreased. There were 48 fewer bankruptcies in February 2018 than in the previous month. This constitutes the lowest number of bankruptcies since 2001.

Tighter labour market

The number of jobs held by employees and self-employed saw quarter-on-quarter growth of 63 thousand in Q4 2017. The number of jobs has been growing for almost four years now. In this period, the number of jobs grew by over half a million. The number of job vacancies grew by 14 thousand in Q4 2017.

Unemployment (ILO definition) amounted to 367 thousand in February. This number declined by 10 thousand per month on average over the past three months. The unemployment rate stood at 4.1 percent.

Largest turnover growth in 2 years for temp agencies

Turnover generated by temping agencies, employment agencies and payroll companies grew by 2.5 percent in Q4 2017 relative to Q3 2017. This is the highest increase in 2 years. The number of temp hours also increased again in Q4.

GDP growth 0.8 percent in Q4 2017

Gross domestic product (GDP) rose by 0.8 percent in Q4 2017 relative to Q3 2017 as shown in the second estimate of GDP conducted by CBS. Growth is mainly due to exports. The GDP growth rate was 2.9 percent in Q4 2017 compared to Q4 2016.

On Tuesday 15 May 2018, CBS will publish the first estimate of GDP and employment in Q1 2018.

Sources