Economic situation improves slightly

© Hollandse Hoogte / Ton Toemen
According to the CBS Business Cycle Tracer, the economic situation has improved slightly in April compared to the previous month. Statistics Netherlands (CBS) reports that all indicators in the Tracer published mid-April 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.

Business cycle tracer indicator (unweighted average of the indicators in the Business Cycle Tracer) (distance to the long-term trend (=0))
 cycle
2011 J0.11
2011 F0.2
2011 M0.25
2011 A0.28
2011 M0.33
2011 J0.35
2011 J0.33
2011 A0.31
2011 S0.24
2011 O0.15
2011 N0.07
2011 D-0.01
2012 J-0.06
2012 F-0.1
2012 M-0.13
2012 A-0.17
2012 M-0.23
2012 J-0.3
2012 J-0.36
2012 A-0.46
2012 S-0.53
2012 O-0.6
2012 N-0.71
2012 D-0.8
2013 J-0.88
2013 F-1
2013 M-1.09
2013 A-1.15
2013 M-1.22
2013 J-1.25
2013 J-1.26
2013 A-1.26
2013 S-1.21
2013 O-1.15
2013 N-1.07
2013 D-1
2014 J-0.93
2014 F-0.87
2014 M-0.84
2014 A-0.83
2014 M-0.8
2014 J-0.78
2014 J-0.76
2014 A-0.73
2014 S-0.71
2014 O-0.7
2014 N-0.66
2014 D-0.63
2015 J-0.59
2015 F-0.53
2015 M-0.47
2015 A-0.42
2015 M-0.35
2015 J-0.29
2015 J-0.24
2015 A-0.19
2015 S-0.15
2015 O-0.14
2015 N-0.11
2015 D-0.09
2016 J-0.08
2016 F-0.05
2016 M-0.03
2016 A-0.01
2016 M0.06
2016 J0.1
2016 J0.14
2016 A0.21
2016 S0.26
2016 O0.3
2016 N0.39
2016 D0.44
2017 J0.49
2017 F0.59
2017 M0.65
2017 A0.7
2017 M0.78
2017 J0.83
2017 J0.88
2017 A0.97
2017 S1.02
2017 O1.08
2017 N1.17
2017 D1.22
2018 J1.26
2018 F1.32
2018 M1.36
2018 A1.38

Mood among consumers hardly changes, producer confidence slightly less positive

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

Producer confidence decreased slightly in March after a record high in February. Manufacturers were less positive about their future output.

Consumer and producer confidence (seasonally adjusted) (average of the component questions)
 Consumer confidenceProducer confidence
2011 J-42.5
2011 F01.5
2011 M15.7
2011 A-24.3
2011 M-42.7
2011 J-61.7
2011 J-8-2.2
2011 A-16-3.2
2011 S-27-0.5
2011 O-34-3.1
2011 N-35-4.8
2011 D-36-1.3
2012 J-37-1.8
2012 F-36-1.7
2012 M-36-2.8
2012 A-32-3.4
2012 M-34-4.9
2012 J-37-4.8
2012 J-33-5.4
2012 A-31-4.7
2012 S-28-6.6
2012 O-29-7.6
2012 N-33-6.8
2012 D-38-5.6
2013 J-37-5.6
2013 F-41-3.7
2013 M-41-5.1
2013 A-37-5.6
2013 M-32-4.1
2013 J-33-3.8
2013 J-35-3.1
2013 A-32-1.4
2013 S-31-2.4
2013 O-26-0.3
2013 N-16-0.3
2013 D-110.1
2014 J-60.7
2014 F-2-0.1
2014 M11.1
2014 A40.3
2014 M60.7
2014 J60.7
2014 J51.2
2014 A20
2014 S-2-0.2
2014 O12
2014 N-22.4
2014 D-43.4
2015 J-22.8
2015 F-12
2015 M71.4
2015 A103.3
2015 M114.1
2015 J144.6
2015 J133.7
2015 A133.5
2015 S113.8
2015 O122.4
2015 N144
2015 D133
2016 J113.2
2016 F63.1
2016 M23.9
2016 A64.7
2016 M74.4
2016 J115.4
2016 J95.1
2016 A91.2
2016 S123.4
2016 O174.3
2016 N213.4
2016 D214.7
2017 J216
2017 F227
2017 M247.8
2017 A268.3
2017 M236.1
2017 J237.2
2017 J256.6
2017 A265.4
2017 S238.5
2017 O238.2
2017 N239.1
2017 D258.9
2018 J2410.3
2018 F2310.9
2018 M249.5

Investments, exports, and household consumption up

In January, the volume of investments in tangible fixed assets was 12.1 percent up 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 4.2 percent in February year-on-year. Relative growth was higher than in the preceding month. In February, exports of machinery, appliances and cars increased again most notably.

Dutch household consumption was 0.7 percent up in January 2018 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 4 percent up in February

Average daily output generated by the Dutch manufacturing industry was 4.2 percent up in February compared to the same month last year. The growth rate was lower than in January, when the highest increase in almost 7 years was achieved. For over two years now, manufacturing output has continually been above the level of the same period year-on-year. The strongest growth in February 2018 was seen in the pharmaceutical industry.

More bankruptcies in March

The number of corporate bankruptcies has increased. There were 34 more bankruptcies in March 2018 than in the previous month. In February, the number decreased by 42.

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, seasonally adjusted (2009=100)
 index
2010 I100.4
2010 II101
2010 III101.3
2010 IV102.6
2011 I103.3
2011 II103.2
2011 III103.2
2011 IV102.4
2012 I102.3
2012 II102.3
2012 III101.9
2012 IV101.2
2013 I101.5
2013 II101.3
2013 III101.9
2013 IV102.5
2014 I102.3
2014 II102.9
2014 III103.3
2014 IV104.5
2015 I105.3
2015 II105.3
2015 III105.7
2015 IV106.1
2016 I106.9
2016 II107.2
2016 III108.3
2016 IV109
2017 I109.6
2017 II111.3
2017 III111.8
2017 IV112.7

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