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.
|cycle (distance to the long-term trend (=0))|
Mood among consumers remains the same, producer confidence picks up
The mood among Dutch consumers has not changed in June 2018 relative to May and remains well above the long-term average. After two consecutive months of decline, producer confidence picked up again in May. The confidence indicators remain well above their long-term average over the past two decades.
|Consumer confidence (average of the component questions)||Producer confidence (average of the component questions)|
Household consumption, investments and exports growing
Consumer spending was 3 percent higher in April than in April 2017. Consumers mainly spent more on clothing, footwear and cars. They also spent more on services, e.g. at hotels and restaurants. Spending on services accounts for more than half of total domestic consumer spending.
Investments in fixed assets were over 11 percent higher year-on-year. Investments in residential property, infrastructure, passenger cars and machinery increased most notably.
The total volume of goods exports grew by 6.6 percent in April relative to April 2017. Relative growth was higher than in the preceding months. In April 2018, exports of transport equipment, machinery and appliances increased most notably.
Manufacturing 5 percent up in April
The average daily output generated by the Dutch manufacturing industry was 5 percent up in April compared to the same month last year. The growth rate was higher than in March. For over two and a half years now, manufacturing output has continually been above the level of the same period year-on-year. The strongest growth in April 2018 was seen in the pharmaceutical industry again.
Fewer bankruptcies in May
The number of corporate bankruptcies has decreased. There were 10 fewer bankruptcies in May 2018 than in the previous month. Most bankruptcies were declared in the trade sector.
Tighter labour market
Quarter-on-quarter, the number of jobs grew by 66 thousand in Q1 2018. Over the past four years, the number of jobs has seen almost continuous growth, in total by over 600 thousand. This includes both full-time and part-time jobs held by employees and self-employed.
The number of job vacancies rose by 8 thousand in Q1 2018. As a result, 235 thousand job vacancies were available at the end of March, 49 thousand more than one year previously. The number of vacancies has seen a continuous rise for almost five years now.
With the rising number of vacancies and the further decline in unemployment, tension in the labour market has increased; for each job vacancy there were 1.6 unemployed in Q1 2018. The labour market was even tighter in 2008, when there were 1.3 unemployed against every job vacancy.
Adjusted for seasonal effects, unemployment amounted 352 thousand in May 2018, according to the ILO definition. Their number fell by an average 5 thousand per month over the previous three months. As a result, the unemployment rate in the Dutch labour force stood at 3.9 percent in May. This is the same percentage as in the previous two months, but still higher than the low before the economic crisis in the second half of 2008 (3.6 percent).
GDP growth 0.6 percent in Q1 2018
Gross domestic product (GDP) rose by 0.6 percent in Q1 2018 relative to Q4 2017, according to the second estimate of GDP conducted by CBS. Growth is mainly due to investments in fixed assets and household consumption. The GDP growth rate was 2.8 percent in Q1 2018 compared to Q1 2017.
On Tuesday 14 August 2018, CBS will publish the second estimate of GDP and employment in Q2 2018.