Economic situation improves slightly

16/04/2018 15:00
© 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.

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.

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 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.