Economic situation virtually unchanged

© Hollandse Hoogte / Michiel Wijnbergh Fotografie
According to the CBS Business Cycle Tracer, the economic situation has remained virtually unchanged in December compared to the previous four months. Statistics Netherlands (CBS) reports that all indicators in the Tracer as published mid-December 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
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-0.37
August-0.47
September-0.55
October-0.62
November-0.73
December-0.83
2013January-0.91
February-1.03
March-1.11
April-1.17
May-1.25
June-1.27
July-1.28
August-1.27
September-1.22
October-1.16
November-1.08
December-1
2014January-0.94
February-0.88
March-0.86
April-0.84
May-0.82
June-0.8
July-0.78
August-0.76
September-0.76
October-0.75
November-0.72
December-0.69
2015January-0.66
February-0.6
March-0.54
April-0.48
May-0.41
June-0.35
July-0.31
August-0.26
September-0.23
October-0.22
November-0.21
December-0.2
2016January-0.21
February-0.19
March-0.18
April-0.16
May-0.11
June-0.08
July-0.04
August0.02
September0.06
October0.11
November0.17
December0.22
2017January0.27
February0.34
March0.4
April0.43
May0.5
June0.53
July0.56
August0.63
September0.68
October0.72
November0.8
December0.85
2018January0.88
February0.93
March0.96
April0.97
May1.01
June1.03
July1.03
August1.05
September1.06
October1.05
November1.06
December1.05

Consumers less confident, producers more confident

The mood among Dutch consumers has deteriorated again in December compared to the previous month. Producer confidence improved in November. 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
November137.2
December9

Household consumption, investments and exports growing

The volume of investments in tangible fixed assets was 7.4 percent up in October 2018 relative to the same month last year. Investments in dwellings, buildings and machinery were up again.

The total volume of goods exports grew by 5.1 percent in October relative to October 2017. Relative growth was higher than in September. In October 2018, exports of transport equipment, metal products, machinery and appliances increased most notably.

Dutch household consumption was 1.7 percent up in October 2018 over October 2017. The growth rate was the lowest so far this year. In October 2018, consumers mainly spent more on services.

Manufacturing output over 3 percent up in October

The average daily output generated by the Dutch manufacturing industry was 3.4 percent up in October compared to the same month last year. The growth rate was slightly higher than in September. The transport equipment industry realised the strongest production growth.

More bankruptcies in October

The number of corporate bankruptcies has increased again. There were 13 more bankruptcies in November 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 56 thousand relative to the previous quarter. It is the seventh consecutive quarter with job growth exceeding 50 thousand. Within one year, the number of jobs grew by 268 thousand.

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 0.8 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.

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.

The unemployment rate decreased in November to 3.5 and for the first time it is lower than just before the economic crisis in 2008. Unemployment declined by an average of 9 thousand per month to 326 thousand in November.

GDP (volume), seasonally adjusted (2010=100)
   index
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 1107.8
Quarter 2108.8
Quarter 3109.6
Quarter 4110.6
2018Quarter 1111.2
Quarter 2111.9
Quarter 3112.1

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 second estimate of GDP conducted by CBS. GDP grew by 2.4 percent relative to Q3 2017.

On Thursday 14 February 2019, CBS will publish the first estimate of GDP and employment in Q4 2018. In addition, the annual figures over 2018 will be published.

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