Economic situation improves slightly

© Hollandse Hoogte / Peter Hilz
According to the CBS Business Cycle Tracer, the economic situation has improved somewhat further in June compared to the preceding months. Statistics Netherlands (CBS) reports that all indicators in the Tracer published mid-June 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 J0.34
2011 J0.33
2011 A0.3
2011 S0.24
2011 O0.15
2011 N0.06
2011 D-0.02
2012 J-0.07
2012 F-0.11
2012 M-0.15
2012 A-0.18
2012 M-0.25
2012 J-0.31
2012 J-0.37
2012 A-0.47
2012 S-0.55
2012 O-0.62
2012 N-0.73
2012 D-0.82
2013 J-0.9
2013 F-1.02
2013 M-1.1
2013 A-1.17
2013 M-1.23
2013 J-1.26
2013 J-1.27
2013 A-1.26
2013 S-1.2
2013 O-1.14
2013 N-1.06
2013 D-0.98
2014 J-0.92
2014 F-0.86
2014 M-0.83
2014 A-0.81
2014 M-0.78
2014 J-0.77
2014 J-0.75
2014 A-0.72
2014 S-0.71
2014 O-0.69
2014 N-0.67
2014 D-0.64
2015 J-0.6
2015 F-0.55
2015 M-0.49
2015 A-0.43
2015 M-0.37
2015 J-0.32
2015 J-0.27
2015 A-0.23
2015 S-0.19
2015 O-0.17
2015 N-0.14
2015 D-0.12
2016 J-0.12
2016 F-0.09
2016 M-0.07
2016 A-0.05
2016 M0
2016 J0.03
2016 J0.07
2016 A0.14
2016 S0.18
2016 O0.23
2016 N0.3
2016 D0.36
2017 J0.41
2017 F0.49
2017 M0.56
2017 A0.61
2017 M0.69
2017 J0.73
2017 J0.77
2017 A0.86
2017 S0.91
2017 O0.96
2017 N1.05
2017 D1.1
2018 J1.14
2018 F1.2
2018 M1.24
2018 A1.26
2018 M1.3
2018 J1.33

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 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-71.7
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-37-1.3
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 J61.2
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 F73.1
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 O248.2
2017 N239.1
2017 D258.9
2018 J2410.3
2018 F2310.9
2018 M249.5
2018 A258.2
2018 M239.8
2018 J23

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, seasonally adjusted (2010=100)
 index
2011 I101.8
2011 II101.7
2011 III101.7
2011 IV101
2012 I100.9
2012 II100.9
2012 III100.5
2012 IV99.8
2013 I100.1
2013 II99.9
2013 III100.5
2013 IV101.1
2014 I101
2014 II101.6
2014 III101.9
2014 IV102.8
2015 I103.4
2015 II103.7
2015 III104.1
2015 IV104.2
2016 I105.2
2016 II105.4
2016 III106.4
2016 IV107.3
2017 I107.8
2017 II108.9
2017 III109.5
2017 IV110.5
2018 I111.1

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.

Sources