Economic picture slightly less favourable

© Hollandse Hoogte / Kees van de Veen
According to the CBS Business Cycle Tracer, the economic situation in July is slightly less favourable than in the previous month. Statistics Netherlands (CBS) reports that eleven of the thirteen indicators in the Tracer as published mid-July 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)
YearMonthcycle (distance to the long-term trend (=0))
2012January-0.04
2012February-0.09
2012March-0.13
2012April-0.16
2012May-0.24
2012June-0.3
2012July-0.36
2012August-0.47
2012September-0.55
2012October-0.62
2012November-0.74
2012December-0.83
2013January-0.91
2013February-1.03
2013March-1.12
2013April-1.18
2013May-1.26
2013June-1.28
2013July-1.29
2013August-1.29
2013September-1.23
2013October-1.17
2013November-1.09
2013December-1.02
2014January-0.96
2014February-0.9
2014March-0.87
2014April-0.86
2014May-0.83
2014June-0.82
2014July-0.8
2014August-0.79
2014September-0.78
2014October-0.77
2014November-0.75
2014December-0.72
2015January-0.69
2015February-0.63
2015March-0.57
2015April-0.51
2015May-0.45
2015June-0.39
2015July-0.35
2015August-0.31
2015September-0.28
2015October-0.27
2015November-0.26
2015December-0.25
2016January-0.26
2016February-0.24
2016March-0.23
2016April-0.21
2016May-0.16
2016June-0.13
2016July-0.1
2016August-0.04
2016September0
2016October0.05
2016November0.11
2016December0.16
2017January0.21
2017February0.28
2017March0.33
2017April0.36
2017May0.41
2017June0.44
2017July0.47
2017August0.52
2017September0.56
2017October0.6
2017November0.67
2017December0.71
2018January0.74
2018February0.8
2018March0.84
2018April0.85
2018May0.87
2018June0.88
2018July0.86
2018August0.87
2018September0.86
2018October0.83
2018November0.82
2018December0.79
2019January0.74
2019February0.71
2019March0.66
2019April0.62
2019May0.61
2019June0.59
2019July0.57

Consumer confidence up, producer confidence down

Consumer confidence improved while confidence among Dutch manufacturers deteriorated again in June. Both consumer and producer confidence are above the long-term average.

Consumer and producer confidence (seasonally adjusted)
YearMonthConsumer confidence (average of the component questions)Producer confidence (average of the component questions)
2014January-60.7
2014February-2-0.1
2014March11.1
2014April40.3
2014May60.7
2014June60.7
2014July61.2
2014August20
2014September-2-0.2
2014October12
2014November-22.4
2014December-43.4
2015January-22.8
2015February-12
2015March71.4
2015April103.3
2015May114.1
2015June144.6
2015July133.7
2015August133.5
2015September113.8
2015October122.4
2015November144
2015December133
2016January113.2
2016February73.1
2016March23.9
2016April64.7
2016May74.4
2016June115.4
2016July95.1
2016August91.2
2016September123.4
2016October174.3
2016November213.4
2016December214.7
2017January216
2017February227
2017March247.8
2017April268.3
2017May236.1
2017June237.2
2017July256.6
2017August265.4
2017September238.5
2017October238.2
2017November229.1
2017December258.9
2018January2410.3
2018February2310.9
2018March249.5
2018April258.2
2018May239.8
2018June237.7
2018July236.3
2018August215.9
2018September195.7
2018October155.9
2018November137.2
2018December97.5
2019January15.8
2019February-26.3
2019March-46.1
2019April-36.7
2019May-34.7
2019June03.3

Investments, household consumption and exports growing

The total volume of goods exports grew by 1.5 percent in May year-on-year. Growth was higher than in the previous month. In May 2019, exports of chemical products and machinery increased in particular. On the other hand, exports of electro-technical equipment was down again.

The volume of investments in tangible fixed assets was 6.7 percent up in April 2019 relative to the same month last year. The year-on-year growth was more substantial than in the preceding month. In April, investments were up mainly in dwellings, office buildings, passenger cars and machinery.

Dutch consumers spent 1.8 percent more in April 2019 than in April 2018. Consumers spent mainly more on home furnishings and electrical appliances. However, spending on passenger cars was down.

Manufacturing output almost 2 percent down in May

The average daily output generated by the Dutch manufacturing industry was 1.8 percent down in May 2019 compared to the same month last year. In the previous month, output was 1.0 percent down year-on-year. In May, output in the electrical and electronics industry showed the strongest year-on-year growth.

More bankruptcies in June

The number of corporate bankruptcies has increased. There were 7 more bankruptcies in June 2019 than in the previous month. The trend has been relatively stable in recent years.

Number of jobs continues to grow

In Q1 2019, the number of full-time and part-time jobs held by employees and self-employed rose by 56 thousand to 10.664 million jobs relative to the previous quarter. Over a period of twelve months, the number of jobs grew by 226 thousand.

The total number of hours worked by employees and self-employed reached over 3.4 billion in Q1 2019. When adjusted for seasonal effects, this is almost 1 percent more than in the previous quarter.

In Q1 2019, the number of job vacancies again rose to a new record: 277 thousand, up by 13 thousand compared to the previous quarter. The number of vacancies has been above pre-crisis levels since Q2 2018. New and filled vacancies (seasonally adjusted) also reached record highs.

Tension in the labour market has risen to a new high. In Q1 2019, there were on average 88 job vacancies per 100 unemployed. In Q4 2018, there were 80 vacancies per 100 unemployed.

After February, unemployment declined by an average of 3 thousand per month to 302 thousand in May 2019. This is equivalent to 3.3 percent of the labour force.

GDP (volume), seasonally adjusted
   index (2010=100)
2012Quarter 1100.8
2012Quarter 2100.9
2012Quarter 3100.5
2012Quarter 499.8
2013Quarter 1100.1
2013Quarter 299.9
2013Quarter 3100.5
2013Quarter 4101.1
2014Quarter 1101
2014Quarter 2101.6
2014Quarter 3101.9
2014Quarter 4102.8
2015Quarter 1103.4
2015Quarter 2103.7
2015Quarter 3104.1
2015Quarter 4104.1
2016Quarter 1105.1
2016Quarter 2105.3
2016Quarter 3106.5
2016Quarter 4107.4
2017Quarter 1108
2017Quarter 2108.9
2017Quarter 3109.7
2017Quarter 4110.5
2018Quarter 1111.2
2018Quarter 2111.9
2018Quarter 3112.2
2018Quarter 4112.8
2019Quarter 1113.3

GDP growth 0.5 percent in Q1 2019

Gross domestic product (GDP) rose by 0.5 percent in Q1 2019 relative to the previous quarter, according to the second estimate of GDP conducted by CBS. Growth was mainly due to investments in fixed assets. GDP grew by 1.7 percent relative to Q1 2018.

On Wednesday 14 August 2019, CBS will publish the first estimate of GDP and employment over Q2 2019.