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
2011January0.13
February0.22
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-0.16
May-0.24
June-0.3
July-0.36
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-1.28
September-1.23
October-1.16
November-1.08
December-1.01
2014January-0.94
February-0.89
March-0.86
April-0.84
May-0.82
June-0.8
July-0.79
August-0.77
September-0.76
October-0.75
November-0.73
December-0.7
2015January-0.66
February-0.61
March-0.54
April-0.49
May-0.42
June-0.36
July-0.32
August-0.28
September-0.24
October-0.24
November-0.22
December-0.21
2016January-0.22
February-0.2
March-0.19
April-0.18
May-0.12
June-0.09
July-0.06
August0
September0.04
October0.08
November0.14
December0.19
2017January0.25
February0.32
March0.37
April0.41
May0.47
June0.5
July0.52
August0.58
September0.62
October0.67
November0.74
December0.79
2018January0.83
February0.89
March0.92
April0.93
May0.96
June0.98
July0.97
August0.99
September0.98
October0.95
November0.93
December0.88
19January0.82
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)
YearMonthConsumer confidenceProducer confidence
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
December97.5
19January15.8

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
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 2111.9
Quarter 3112.1
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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