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.
Consumers less confident, producer confidence hardly changes
The mood among Dutch consumers deteriorated again in March compared to the previous month, while producer confidence hardly changed. The producer confidence indicator remains above the long-term average, but de consumer confidence indicator is below the long-term average.
|Year||Month||Consumer confidence||Producer confidence|
Household consumption, investments and exports growing
The total volume of goods exports grew by 2.0 percent in February year-on-year. Growth was somewhat lower than in the previous month. Exports of transport equipment (e.g. vessels) and machinery increased in particular. On the other hand, exports of electro-technical equipment were down.
The volume of investments in tangible fixed assets was 4.9 percent up in January 2019 relative to the same month last year. Growth was more substantial than in the preceding month. In January, investments were up mainly in residential property, office buildings and machinery year-on-year.
Dutch household consumption was 0.9 percent up in January 2019 on January 2018. This is the lowest growth rate since mid-2016. In January, consumers spent less on cars and more on natural gas than one year previously.
Manufacturing output slightly higher
The average daily output generated by the Dutch manufacturing industry was 0.5 percent up in February 2019 compared to the same month last year. The previous two months saw a decline in output. In February, output in the transport equipment industry showed the strongest year-on-year growth.
More bankruptcies in March
The number of corporate bankruptcies has increased. There were 23 more bankruptcies in March 2019 than in the previous month. In January and February, the number of bankruptcies decreased. The trend has been relatively stable in recent years.
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 62 thousand to 10.5 million jobs relative to the previous quarter. Over a period of twelve months, the number of jobs grew by 239 thousand. Over 800 thousand jobs were added as of Q2 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 on average 5 thousand in the last three months and stood at 312 thousand in February. This is around the same number as in November 2008, just before the economic crisis. Nevertheless, the unemployment rate in February 2019 was lower (3.4) than in November 2008 (3.6), due to an increase in the labour force (unemployed and employed combined).
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 second estimate of GDP conducted by CBS. Growth was mainly due to consumption and investments in fixed assets. GDP grew by 2.2 percent relative to Q4 2017.
On Wednesday 15 May 2019, CBS will publish the first estimate of GDP and employment over Q1 2019.