Economic situation again less favourable

© Hollandse Hoogte
According to the CBS Business Cycle Tracer, the economic situation in February is again slightly less favourable compared to the previous month. Statistics Netherlands (CBS) reports that eleven of the thirteen indicators in the Tracer as published mid-February 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
2011 January0.13
2011 February0.22
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-0.16
2012 May-0.24
2012 June-0.3
2012 July-0.36
2012 August-0.47
2012 September-0.55
2012 October-0.62
2012 November-0.73
2012 December-0.83
2013 January-0.91
2013 February-1.03
2013 March-1.11
2013 April-1.17
2013 May-1.25
2013 June-1.27
2013 July-1.28
2013 August-1.28
2013 September-1.23
2013 October-1.16
2013 November-1.08
2013 December-1.01
2014 January-0.94
2014 February-0.89
2014 March-0.86
2014 April-0.84
2014 May-0.82
2014 June-0.8
2014 July-0.79
2014 August-0.77
2014 September-0.76
2014 October-0.75
2014 November-0.73
2014 December-0.7
2015 January-0.66
2015 February-0.61
2015 March-0.54
2015 April-0.49
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-0.21
2016 January-0.22
2016 February-0.2
2016 March-0.19
2016 April-0.18
2016 May-0.12
2016 June-0.09
2016 July-0.06
2016 August0
2016 September0.04
2016 October0.08
2016 November0.14
2016 December0.19
2017 January0.25
2017 February0.32
2017 March0.37
2017 April0.41
2017 May0.47
2017 June0.5
2017 July0.52
2017 August0.58
2017 September0.62
2017 October0.67
2017 November0.74
2017 December0.79
2018 January0.83
2018 February0.89
2018 March0.92
2018 April0.93
2018 May0.96
2018 June0.98
2018 July0.97
2018 August0.99
2018 September0.98
2018 October0.95
2018 November0.93
2018 December0.88
19 January0.82
19 February0.77

Consumers and producers less confident

The mood among Dutch consumers deteriorated again in January compared to the previous month. Producer confidence also declined in January. The confidence indicators remain above their long-term average.

Consumer and producer confidence (seasonally adjusted) (average of the component questions)
 Consumer confidenceProducer confidence
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
2018 November137.2
2018 December97.5
19 January15.8
19

Household consumption, investments and exports growing

Exports of goods and services grew by 1.3 percent in Q4 2018 relative to Q4 2017. Dutch manufacturers mainly exported more transport equipment, machinery and appliances.

The volume of investments in tangible fixed assets was 3.7 percent up in Q4 2018 relative to Q4 2017. Investments in residential property, commercial buildings and passenger cars in particular were higher than one year previously.

Dutch household consumption was 2.0 percent up in Q4 year-on-year. The growth rate was slightly higher than in the previous quarter. Consumers mainly spent more on electrical appliances.

Manufacturing output over 4 percent down in December

In December 2018, the average daily output generated by the Dutch manufacturing industry was 4.2 percent down relative to the same month one year previously. Output contracted for the first time since October 2015. Output in the electrical and electronics industry showed the strongest year-on-year decline.

Fewer bankruptcies

There were 47 fewer bankruptcies in January 2019 than in the previous month. The number of bankruptcies had increased In the final three months of 2018.

Number of jobs continues to grow

In Q4 2018, the number of full-time and part-time jobs held by employees and self-employed rose by 49 thousand to 10.5 million jobs relative to the previous quarter. Over a period of twelve months, the number of jobs grew by 218 thousand. Over 782 jobs were added as of Q3 2014.

The total number of hours worked by employees and self-employed reached 3.4 billion in Q4 2018. When adjusted for seasonal effects, this is equal to the previous quarter.

In Q4 2018, the number of job vacancies rose to a new record high of 264 thousand. The number of vacancies has been above pre-crisis levels since Q2 2018.

Tension in the labour market has risen to a new high. In Q4 2018, there were 80 job vacancies per 100 unemployed. The previous record was set before the start of the economic crisis, when there were 79 vacancies per 100 unemployed.

Unemployment declined by 18 thousand in Q4 2018, a substantially stronger decline than in the previous quarter. At 3.6 percent, the unemployment rate was back at the pre-crisis level.

GDP (volume), seasonally adjusted (2010=100)
 index
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 2111.9
2018 Quarter 3112.1
2018 Quarter 4112.6

GDP growth 0.5 percent in Q4 2018

Gross domestic product (GDP) rose by 0.5 percent in Q4 2018 relative to the previous quarter, according to the first estimate of GDP conducted by CBS. Growth was mainly due to the trade balance, consumption and investments in fixed assets. GDP grew by 2.0 percent relative to Q4 2017.

On Tuesday 26 March 2019, CBS will publish the second estimate of GDP and employment over Q4 2018 as well as the annual figures over 2018.

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