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 remains the same, producers less confident
The mood among Dutch consumers did not change in June 2018 relative to May and remains well above the long-term average.
Dutch manufacturers were less confident in June 2018. However, the confidence indicator remains well above the long-term average over the past two decades.
|Consumer confidence||Producer confidence|
Household consumption, investments and exports growing
The total volume of goods exports grew by 5 percent in May relative to May 2017. Relative growth was lower than in April. In May 2018, exports of chemical products and transport equipment increased most notably.
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.
Manufacturing over 3 percent up in May
The average daily output generated by the Dutch manufacturing industry was 3.2 percent up in May compared to the same month last year. The growth rate was lower than in April. 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 May 2018 was seen in the machinery industry.
Number of bankruptcies continues to drop
The number of corporate bankruptcies has decreased again. There were 11 fewer bankruptcies in June 2018 than in the preceding month. Most bankruptcies in June were recorded in the trade sector.
Tighter labour market
Quarter-on-quarter, the number of jobs grew by 67 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.