Economic situation remains unchanged

© CBS / Nikki van Toorn
According to the CBS Business Cycle Tracer, the economic situation has remained unchanged in November compared to the previous three months. Statistics Netherlands (CBS) reports that all indicators in the Tracer as published mid-November 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))
YearMonthcycle
2010January-0.6
February-0.57
March-0.54
April-0.47
May-0.42
June-0.37
July-0.31
August-0.25
September-0.18
October-0.11
November-0.02
December0.06
2011January0.12
February0.21
March0.27
April0.3
May0.35
June0.36
July0.35
August0.32
September0.25
October0.17
November0.08
December0
2012January-0.05
February-0.1
March-0.13
April-0.17
May-0.24
June-0.3
July-0.36
August-0.46
September-0.54
October-0.61
November-0.73
December-0.82
2013January-0.9
February-1.02
March-1.1
April-1.16
May-1.24
June-1.26
July-1.27
August-1.26
September-1.21
October-1.14
November-1.07
December-0.99
2014January-0.93
February-0.88
March-0.85
April-0.83
May-0.81
June-0.79
July-0.77
August-0.75
September-0.74
October-0.73
November-0.71
December-0.68
2015January-0.65
February-0.59
March-0.54
April-0.48
May-0.42
June-0.36
July-0.32
August-0.28
September-0.24
October-0.24
November-0.22
December-0.2
2016January-0.21
February-0.19
March-0.17
April-0.16
May-0.1
June-0.07
July-0.03
August0.03
September0.07
October0.11
November0.18
December0.24
2017January0.29
February0.36
March0.42
April0.46
May0.52
June0.56
July0.59
August0.66
September0.71
October0.75
November0.83
December0.87
2018January0.9
February0.95
March0.98
April0.99
May1.04
June1.06
July1.06
August1.1
September1.11
October1.1
November1.12

Consumers and producers less confident

The mood among Dutch consumers deteriorated again in October compared to the previous month. Producer confidence hardly changed. However, the confidence indicators remain well above their long-term average.

Consumer and producer confidence (seasonally adjusted) (average of the component questions)
jaarmaandConsumer confidenceProducer confidence
2011January-42.5
February01.5
March15.7
April-24.3
May-42.7
June-71.7
July-8-2.2
August-16-3.2
September-27-0.5
October-34-3.1
November-35-4.8
December-37-1.3
2012January-37-1.8
February-36-1.7
March-36-2.8
April-32-3.4
May-34-4.9
June-37-4.8
July-33-5.4
August-31-4.7
September-28-6.6
October-29-7.6
November-33-6.8
December-38-5.6
2013January-37-5.6
February-41-3.7
March-41-5.1
April-37-5.6
May-32-4.1
June-33-3.8
July-35-3.1
August-32-1.4
September-31-2.4
October-26-0.3
November-16-0.3
December-110.1
2014January-60.7
February-2-0.1
March11.1
April40.3
May60.7
June60.7
July61.2
August20
September-2-0.2
October12
November-22.4
December-43.4
2015January-22.8
February-12
March71.4
April103.3
May114.1
June144.6
July133.7
August133.5
September113.8
October122.4
November144
December133
2016January113.2
February73.1
March23.9
April64.7
May74.4
June115.4
July95.1
August91.2
September123.4
October174.3
November213.4
December214.7
2017January216
February227
March247.8
April268.3
May236.1
June237.2
July256.6
August265.4
September238.5
October248.2
November239.1
December258.9
2018January2410.3
February2310.9
March249.5
April258.2
May239.8
June237.7
July236.3
August215.9
September195.7
October155.9

Household consumption, investments and exports growing

In Q3, consumers spent over 2 percent more than in Q3 one year previously. They mainly spent more on passenger cars and electrical appliances.

Consumers also spent more on services, especially in hotels and restaurants, transport and communication services. Service expenditure accounts for over half of total domestic consumption expenditure.

Investments in fixed assets were also over 2 percent higher than one year previously. In Q3, investments in residential property, commercial buildings, infrastructure and machinery increased in particular. Entrepreneurs also continued to invest more in lorries, semi-trailers etc.

The growth of investments was lower than in the previous quarters of 2018, partly because investments in dwellings and infrastructure grew less rapidly.

Exports of goods and services grew by over 2 percent in Q3 2018. Dutch companies mainly exported more machinery and transport equipment. The exports of domestically made products grew at a slightly faster pace than re-exports (exports of previously imported products).

Manufacturing output almost 3 percent up in September

The average daily output generated by the Dutch manufacturing industry was 2.9 percent up in September compared to the same month last year. The growth rate was slightly lower than in August. Adjusted for seasonal variation, manufacturing output reached the highest level ever in September.

More bankruptcies in October

The number of corporate bankruptcies has increased. There were 40 more bankruptcies in October 2018 than in the previous month. In September, the number of bankruptcies reached the lowest level since 2001. However, the trend has been fairly flat for over a year.

Number of jobs continues to grow

In Q3 2018, the number of full-time and part-time jobs held by employees and self-employed rose by 60 thousand relative to the previous quarter. It is the eight consecutive quarter with job growth exceeding 50 thousand. The number of jobs has been growing almost continuously for four and a half years now, by 739 thousand (7.6 percent) in total.

The total number of hours worked by employees and self-employed reached 3.4 billion in Q3 2018. When adjusted for seasonal effects, this is 0.9 percent more than in Q2.
The number of job vacancies grew by 11 thousand in Q3 2018. As a result, 262 thousand job vacancies were available at the end of the quarter. The number of vacancies reached its highest level ever.

In Q3, 348 thousand people indicated they had recently looked and were immediately available for work. These are the unemployed according to the definition of the International Labour Organization (ILO). The number of unemployed decreased by 6 thousand. The unemployment rate in the Dutch labour force stood at 3.8. This rate is still higher than before the economic crisis. In Q3 2008, the unemployment rate stood at 3.6.

Tension in the labour market increased further in Q3; for each job vacancy there were 1.3 unemployed. The labour market was as tight as in the first three quarters of 2008.

GDP (volume), seasonally adjusted (2010=100)
   index
2010Quarter 199.2
Quarter 299.6
Quarter 3100
Quarter 4101.2
2011Quarter 1101.8
Quarter 2101.7
Quarter 3101.7
Quarter 4101
2012Quarter 1100.9
Quarter 2100.9
Quarter 3100.5
Quarter 499.8
2013Quarter 1100.1
Quarter 299.9
Quarter 3100.5
Quarter 4101.1
2014Quarter 1101
Quarter 2101.6
Quarter 3101.9
Quarter 4102.8
2015Quarter 1103.4
Quarter 2103.7
Quarter 3104.1
Quarter 4104.2
2016Quarter 1105.2
Quarter 2105.4
Quarter 3106.5
Quarter 4107.3
2017Quarter 1107.9
Quarter 2108.8
Quarter 3109.6
Quarter 4110.6
2018Quarter 1111.2
Quarter 2112
Quarter 3112.2

GDP growth 0.2 percent in Q3 2018

Gross domestic product (GDP) rose by 0.2 percent in Q3 2018 relative to the previous quarter, according to the first estimate of GDP conducted by CBS. Growth is mainly due to household consumption and international trade. GDP grew by 2.4 percent relative to Q3 2017.

On Monday 24 December 2018, CBS will publish the second estimate of GDP and employment in Q3 2018.

Sources