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
2011 J0.11
2011 F0.2
2011 M0.25
2011 A0.28
2011 M0.33
2011 J0.35
2011 J0.33
2011 A0.31
2011 S0.24
2011 O0.15
2011 N0.07
2011 D-0.01
2012 J-0.06
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-1.11
2013 A-1.17
2013 M-1.24
2013 J-1.27
2013 J-1.28
2013 A-1.27
2013 S-1.22
2013 O-1.15
2013 N-1.07
2013 D-1
2014 J-0.93
2014 F-0.87
2014 M-0.84
2014 A-0.83
2014 M-0.8
2014 J-0.78
2014 J-0.77
2014 A-0.74
2014 S-0.73
2014 O-0.71
2014 N-0.69
2014 D-0.66
2015 J-0.62
2015 F-0.57
2015 M-0.51
2015 A-0.45
2015 M-0.39
2015 J-0.34
2015 J-0.29
2015 A-0.25
2015 S-0.21
2015 O-0.2
2015 N-0.17
2015 D-0.15
2016 J-0.15
2016 F-0.12
2016 M-0.1
2016 A-0.08
2016 M-0.03
2016 J0
2016 J0.04
2016 A0.1
2016 S0.14
2016 O0.19
2016 N0.25
2016 D0.31
2017 J0.36
2017 F0.44
2017 M0.5
2017 A0.54
2017 M0.62
2017 J0.66
2017 J0.7
2017 A0.78
2017 S0.83
2017 O0.88
2017 N0.96
2017 D1
2018 J1.03
2018 F1.09
2018 M1.12
2018 A1.13
2018 M1.17
2018 J1.19
2018 J1.19
2018 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 )
 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 J237.7
2018 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
2010 I99.2
2010 II99.6
2010 III100
2010 IV101.2
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 I107.9
2017 II108.9
2017 III109.5
2017 IV110.5
2018 I111.2
2018 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