Economic situation virtually unchanged

© Hollandse Hoogte
According to the CBS Business Cycle Tracer, the economic situation has remained almost unchanged in August compared to the previous month. Statistics Netherlands (CBS) reports that all indicators in the Tracer as published in mid-August are performing above the level of their long-term trend.

The CBS Business Cycle Tracer is a tool used to monitor the situation and the developments in the Dutch economy. It uses thirteen key macro-economic indicators. Together, these provide a coherent macro-economic picture which is based on CBS figures published over the past month or quarter. It does not represent the situation at the level of individual households, businesses or regions.

Business Cycle Tracer indicator (unweighted average of the indicators in the CBS Business Cycle Tracer) (distance to the long-term trend (=0))
   cyclus
2011J0.11
F0.2
M0.25
A0.28
M0.33
J0.35
J0.33
A0.31
S0.24
O0.15
N0.07
D-0.01
2012J-0.06
F-0.11
M-0.15
A-0.18
M-0.25
J-0.31
J-0.37
A-0.47
S-0.55
O-0.62
N-0.73
D-0.82
2013J-0.9
F-1.02
M-1.11
A-1.17
M-1.24
J-1.27
J-1.28
A-1.27
S-1.22
O-1.15
N-1.07
D-1
2014J-0.93
F-0.87
M-0.84
A-0.83
M-0.8
J-0.78
J-0.77
A-0.74
S-0.73
O-0.71
N-0.69
D-0.66
2015J-0.62
F-0.57
M-0.51
A-0.45
M-0.39
J-0.34
J-0.29
A-0.25
S-0.21
O-0.2
N-0.17
D-0.15
2016J-0.15
F-0.12
M-0.1
A-0.08
M-0.03
J0
J0.04
A0.1
S0.14
O0.19
N0.25
D0.31
2017J0.36
F0.44
M0.5
A0.54
M0.62
J0.66
J0.7
A0.78
S0.83
O0.88
N0.96
D1
2018J1.03
F1.09
M1.12
A1.13
M1.17
J1.19
J1.19
A1.21

Mood among consumers remains positive, producers less confident

The mood among Dutch consumers did not change in July 2018 relative to May and June, remaining well above the long-term average.

Dutch manufacturers were less confident again in July 2018. However, the confidence indicator remains well above the long-term average over the past two decades.

Consumer and producer confidence (seasonally adjusted) (average of the component questions )
jaarmaandConsumer confidenceProducer confidence
2011J-42.5
F01.5
M15.7
A-24.3
M-42.7
J-71.7
J-8-2.2
A-16-3.2
S-27-0.5
O-34-3.1
N-35-4.8
D-37-1.3
2012J-37-1.8
F-36-1.7
M-36-2.8
A-32-3.4
M-34-4.9
J-37-4.8
J-33-5.4
A-31-4.7
S-28-6.6
O-29-7.6
N-33-6.8
D-38-5.6
2013J-37-5.6
F-41-3.7
M-41-5.1
A-37-5.6
M-32-4.1
J-33-3.8
J-35-3.1
A-32-1.4
S-31-2.4
O-26-0.3
N-16-0.3
D-110.1
2014J-60.7
F-2-0.1
M11.1
A40.3
M60.7
J60.7
J61.2
A20
S-2-0.2
O12
N-22.4
D-43.4
2015J-22.8
F-12
M71.4
A103.3
M114.1
J144.6
J133.7
A133.5
S113.8
O122.4
N144
D133
2016J113.2
F73.1
M23.9
A64.7
M74.4
J115.4
J95.1
A91.2
S123.4
O174.3
N213.4
D214.7
2017J216
F227
M247.8
A268.3
M236.1
J237.2
J256.6
A265.4
S238.5
O248.2
N239.1
D258.9
2018J2410.3
F2310.9
M249.5
A258.2
M239.8
J237.7
J236.3

Household consumption, investments and exports growing

Investments in fixed assets were over 5 percent higher than one year previously. In Q2 2018, investments in residential and commercial property, infrastructure and machinery increased in particular.Entrepreneurs continued to invest more in passenger cars.

Exports of goods and services grew by nearly 3 percent in Q2 2018. Dutch companies mainly exported more machinery and transport equipment. Exports of domestic products grew at a slightly faster pace than re-exports (i.e. exports of imported products).

In Q2 2018, consumer spending was up by more than 2 percent on the same quarter last year. Consumers spent more across the board, mainly on passenger cars and electrical appliances. They also spent more on services, in particular in hotels and restaurants, and on transport and communication services. Spending on services accounts for more than half of total domestic consumer spending.

Manufacturing over 3 percent up in June

The average daily output generated by the Dutch manufacturing industry was 3.4 percent up in June relative to one year previously. This growth was slightly higher than in May. For almost three years now, manufacturing output has continually been above the level of the same period year-on-year. The strongest growth in June 2018 was seen in electrical appliance manufacturing.

Slightly more bankruptcies

The number of corporate bankruptcies has increased slightly. There were 3 more bankruptcies in July 2018 than in the preceding month. Most bankruptcies in July were recorded in the trade sector.

Number of jobs continues to grow

In Q2 2018, the number of full-time and part-time jobs held by employees and self-employed rose by 52 thousand relative to the previous quarter. It is the seventh consecutive quarter with job growth exceeding the 50 thousand, although the growth pace has slowed down somewhat.The number of jobs has been growing almost continuously for over four years now, in total by over 676 thousand (7 percent).

The total number of hours worked by employees and self-employed reached 3.4 billion in Q2 2018. When adjusted for seasonal effects, this is 0.7 percent more than in Q1. The number of job vacancies grew by 16 thousand in Q2 2018. As a result, 251 thousand job vacancies were available at the end of the quarter. Growth has continued for five years now and has now reached its highest level after Q4 2007, namely 249 thousand.The number of vacancies reached its record low (91 thousand vacancies) in mid-2013.

Adjusted for seasonal effects, 354 thousand people were unemployed in Q2 2018 who had recently been looking for work and who were immediately available for the labour market: the unemployed according to the International Labour Organization (ILO). This is down by 14 thousand on the previous quarter. The unemployment rate stood at 3.9 percent. It peaked at 7.8 percent in Q1 2014; since then, the number has decreased for 17 quarters in a row.

An increase in the number of job vacancies while the number of unemployed people decreases means that tension on the labour market is growing.

GDP, seasonally adjusted (2010=100)
   index
2010I99.2
II99.6
III100
IV101.2
2011I101.8
II101.7
III101.7
IV101
2012I100.9
II100.9
III100.5
IV99.8
2013I100.1
II99.9
III100.5
IV101.1
2014I101
II101.6
III101.9
IV102.8
2015I103.4
II103.7
III104.1
IV104.2
2016I105.2
II105.4
III106.4
IV107.3
2017I107.9
II108.9
III109.5
IV110.5
2018I111.2
II111.9

GDP growth 0.7 percent in Q2 2018

Gross domestic product (GDP) rose by 0.7 percent in Q2 2018 relative to the previous quarter, according to the first estimate of GDP conducted by CBS. Growth is mainly due to exports and investments in fixed assets. GDP grew by 2.9 percent relative to Q2 2017.

On Friday 22 September 2018, CBS will publish the second estimate of GDP and employment in Q2 2018.

Sources