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))
 cycle
2010 January-0.6
2010 February-0.57
2010 March-0.54
2010 April-0.47
2010 May-0.42
2010 June-0.37
2010 July-0.31
2010 August-0.25
2010 September-0.18
2010 October-0.11
2010 November-0.02
2010 December0.06
2011 January0.12
2011 February0.21
2011 March0.27
2011 April0.3
2011 May0.35
2011 June0.36
2011 July0.35
2011 August0.32
2011 September0.25
2011 October0.17
2011 November0.08
2011 December0
2012 January-0.05
2012 February-0.1
2012 March-0.13
2012 April-0.17
2012 May-0.24
2012 June-0.3
2012 July-0.36
2012 August-0.46
2012 September-0.54
2012 October-0.61
2012 November-0.73
2012 December-0.82
2013 January-0.9
2013 February-1.02
2013 March-1.1
2013 April-1.16
2013 May-1.24
2013 June-1.26
2013 July-1.27
2013 August-1.26
2013 September-1.21
2013 October-1.14
2013 November-1.07
2013 December-0.99
2014 January-0.93
2014 February-0.88
2014 March-0.85
2014 April-0.83
2014 May-0.81
2014 June-0.79
2014 July-0.77
2014 August-0.75
2014 September-0.74
2014 October-0.73
2014 November-0.71
2014 December-0.68
2015 January-0.65
2015 February-0.59
2015 March-0.54
2015 April-0.48
2015 May-0.42
2015 June-0.36
2015 July-0.32
2015 August-0.28
2015 September-0.24
2015 October-0.24
2015 November-0.22
2015 December-0.2
2016 January-0.21
2016 February-0.19
2016 March-0.17
2016 April-0.16
2016 May-0.1
2016 June-0.07
2016 July-0.03
2016 August0.03
2016 September0.07
2016 October0.11
2016 November0.18
2016 December0.24
2017 January0.29
2017 February0.36
2017 March0.42
2017 April0.46
2017 May0.52
2017 June0.56
2017 July0.59
2017 August0.66
2017 September0.71
2017 October0.75
2017 November0.83
2017 December0.87
2018 January0.9
2018 February0.95
2018 March0.98
2018 April0.99
2018 May1.04
2018 June1.06
2018 July1.06
2018 August1.1
2018 September1.11
2018 October1.1
2018 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)
 Consumer confidenceProducer confidence
2011 January-42.5
2011 February01.5
2011 March15.7
2011 April-24.3
2011 May-42.7
2011 June-71.7
2011 July-8-2.2
2011 August-16-3.2
2011 September-27-0.5
2011 October-34-3.1
2011 November-35-4.8
2011 December-37-1.3
2012 January-37-1.8
2012 February-36-1.7
2012 March-36-2.8
2012 April-32-3.4
2012 May-34-4.9
2012 June-37-4.8
2012 July-33-5.4
2012 August-31-4.7
2012 September-28-6.6
2012 October-29-7.6
2012 November-33-6.8
2012 December-38-5.6
2013 January-37-5.6
2013 February-41-3.7
2013 March-41-5.1
2013 April-37-5.6
2013 May-32-4.1
2013 June-33-3.8
2013 July-35-3.1
2013 August-32-1.4
2013 September-31-2.4
2013 October-26-0.3
2013 November-16-0.3
2013 December-110.1
2014 January-60.7
2014 February-2-0.1
2014 March11.1
2014 April40.3
2014 May60.7
2014 June60.7
2014 July61.2
2014 August20
2014 September-2-0.2
2014 October12
2014 November-22.4
2014 December-43.4
2015 January-22.8
2015 February-12
2015 March71.4
2015 April103.3
2015 May114.1
2015 June144.6
2015 July133.7
2015 August133.5
2015 September113.8
2015 October122.4
2015 November144
2015 December133
2016 January113.2
2016 February73.1
2016 March23.9
2016 April64.7
2016 May74.4
2016 June115.4
2016 July95.1
2016 August91.2
2016 September123.4
2016 October174.3
2016 November213.4
2016 December214.7
2017 January216
2017 February227
2017 March247.8
2017 April268.3
2017 May236.1
2017 June237.2
2017 July256.6
2017 August265.4
2017 September238.5
2017 October248.2
2017 November239.1
2017 December258.9
2018 January2410.3
2018 February2310.9
2018 March249.5
2018 April258.2
2018 May239.8
2018 June237.7
2018 July236.3
2018 August215.9
2018 September195.7
2018 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
2010 Quarter 199.2
2010 Quarter 299.6
2010 Quarter 3100
2010 Quarter 4101.2
2011 Quarter 1101.8
2011 Quarter 2101.7
2011 Quarter 3101.7
2011 Quarter 4101
2012 Quarter 1100.9
2012 Quarter 2100.9
2012 Quarter 3100.5
2012 Quarter 499.8
2013 Quarter 1100.1
2013 Quarter 299.9
2013 Quarter 3100.5
2013 Quarter 4101.1
2014 Quarter 1101
2014 Quarter 2101.6
2014 Quarter 3101.9
2014 Quarter 4102.8
2015 Quarter 1103.4
2015 Quarter 2103.7
2015 Quarter 3104.1
2015 Quarter 4104.2
2016 Quarter 1105.2
2016 Quarter 2105.4
2016 Quarter 3106.5
2016 Quarter 4107.3
2017 Quarter 1107.9
2017 Quarter 2108.8
2017 Quarter 3109.6
2017 Quarter 4110.6
2018 Quarter 1111.2
2018 Quarter 2112
2018 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