Economic picture slightly less favourable

© Hollandse Hoogte / Michel Utrecht
According to the CBS Business Cycle Tracer, the economic situation in August is slightly less favourable than in the previous month. Statistics Netherlands (CBS) reports that nine of the thirteen indicators in the Tracer as published mid-August 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))
YearMonthcycle
2012January-0.04
February-0.09
March-0.13
April-0.16
May-0.23
June-0.3
July-0.36
August-0.47
September-0.55
October-0.62
November-0.74
December-0.83
2013January-0.91
February-1.03
March-1.12
April-1.18
May-1.25
June-1.28
July-1.29
August-1.29
September-1.24
October-1.17
November-1.1
December-1.02
2014January-0.96
February-0.9
March-0.87
April-0.85
May-0.83
June-0.82
July-0.8
August-0.79
September-0.78
October-0.77
November-0.75
December-0.72
2015January-0.69
February-0.63
March-0.57
April-0.51
May-0.44
June-0.38
July-0.34
August-0.3
September-0.27
October-0.27
November-0.25
December-0.24
2016January-0.25
February-0.23
March-0.22
April-0.2
May-0.15
June-0.12
July-0.08
August-0.03
September0.01
October0.05
November0.12
December0.17
2017January0.21
February0.27
March0.31
April0.34
May0.38
June0.41
July0.43
August0.48
September0.52
October0.56
November0.62
December0.67
2018January0.71
February0.76
March0.8
April0.81
May0.83
June0.84
July0.83
August0.83
September0.82
October0.79
November0.78
December0.74
2019January0.69
February0.66
March0.62
April0.59
May0.58
June0.57
July0.55
August0.54

Consumer and producer confidence up

In July, consumers were more confident than in June. Confidence among Dutch manufacturers also improved in July. Both consumer and producer confidence are above the long-term average.

Consumenten- en producentenvertrouwen (seizoengecorrigeerd) (gemiddelde van de deelvragen)
jaarmaandConsumentenvertrouwenProducentenvertrouwen
2014januari-60.7
februari-2-0.1
maart11.1
april40.3
mei60.7
juni60.7
juli61.2
augustus20
september-2-0.2
oktober12
november-22.4
december-43.4
2015januari-22.8
februari-12
maart71.4
april103.3
mei114.1
juni144.6
juli133.7
augustus133.5
september113.8
oktober122.4
november144
december133
2016januari113.2
februari73.1
maart23.9
april64.7
mei74.4
juni115.4
juli95.1
augustus91.2
september123.4
oktober174.3
november213.4
december214.7
2017januari216
februari227
maart247.8
april268.3
mei236.1
juni237.2
juli256.6
augustus265.4
september238.5
oktober238.2
november229.1
december258.9
2018januari2410.3
februari2310.9
maart249.5
april258.2
mei239.8
juni237.7
juli236.3
augustus215.9
september195.7
oktober155.9
november137.2
december97.5
2019januari15.8
februari-26.3
maart-46.1
april-36.7
mei-34.7
juni 03.3
juli23.9

Investments, household consumption and exports growing

In Q2 2019, investments in fixed assets were 5.3 percent higher than one year previously. Growth was slightly higher than in Q1 2019. Investments in dwellings, buildings, transport equipment (mainly aircraft) and machinery increased in particular.

Consumer spending was up by 1.7 percent in Q2 2019 relative to the same quarter last year. The growth rate was higher than in the previous quarter, when consumers spent 0.7 percent more year-on-year. In Q2 2019, consumers spent more on e.g. home furnishing articles, clothing, electrical appliances and services. Natural gas consumption increased as well; the second quarter of 2019 had slightly colder weather conditions compared to Q2 2018. However, consumers spent less on passenger cars again.

Exports of goods and services grew by 3.0 percent in Q2 2019. The growth rate is higher than in Q1 2019. Dutch companies not only exported more services in the second quarter but also mainly more chemical products, machinery and appliances. Re-exports (i.e. exports of imported products) grew while exports of domestic products declined.

Manufacturing output over 2 percent down in June

The average daily output generated by the Dutch manufacturing industry was 2.2 percent down in June 2019 compared to the same month last year. It is the fourth consecutive month of year-on-year decline.

Number of bankruptcies hardly changed

The number of corporate bankruptcies has hardly changed, according to Statistics Netherlands (CBS). There were 2 more bankruptcies in July 2019 than in the previous month. The trend has been relatively stable in recent years.

Number of jobs continues to grow

In Q2 2019, the number of full-time and part-time jobs held by employees and self-employed rose by 40 thousand to 10.672 million jobs relative to the previous quarter. Over a period of twelve months, the number of jobs grew by 198 thousand. This is an increase of 0.4 percent.

The total number of hours worked by employees and self-employed reached over 3.4 billion in Q2 2019. When adjusted for seasonal effects, this is 0.5 percent more than in the previous quarter.
In Q2 2019, the number of job vacancies again rose to a new record: 284 thousand, up by 6 thousand compared to the previous quarter. This number has been growing every quarter for six years now. There are currently three times as many vacancies compared to the lowest point in 2013.

Unemployment declined by 11 thousand to 305 thousand in Q2 2019. At 3.3 percent, the unemployment rate was below the pre-crisis level. In the course of the second quarter, the downward trend changed into a slightly upward trend.

Due to the decline in unemployment and increase in the number of vacancies, tension in the labour market has risen to a new high. In Q2 2019, there were on average 93 job vacancies per 100 unemployed. In Q1 2019, there were 88 vacancies per 100 unemployed.

GDP (volume), seasonally adjusted (2010=100)
   index
2012Quarter 1100.8
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 4104.1
2016Quarter 1105.1
Quarter 2105.3
Quarter 3106.5
Quarter 4107.4
2017Quarter 1108
Quarter 2108.9
Quarter 3109.7
Quarter 4110.5
2018Quarter 1111.2
Quarter 2111.9
Quarter 3112.2
Quarter 4112.8
2019Quarter 1113.3
Quarter 2113.9

GDP growth 0.5 percent in Q2 2019

Gross domestic product (GDP) rose by 0.5 percent in Q2 2019 relative to the previous quarter, according to the first estimate of GDP conducted by CBS. Growth was mainly due to investments in fixed assets, household consumption and the trade balance. GDP grew by 2.0 percent relative to Q2 2018.

On Monday 23 September 2019, CBS will publish the second estimate of GDP and employment over Q2 2019.

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