Economic picture less favourable

© CBS / Nikki van Toorn
According to the CBS Business Cycle Tracer, the economic situation in November is less favourable than in the previous month. Statistics Netherlands (CBS) reports that nine of the thirteen indicators in the Tracer as published mid-November 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-0.12
2012April-0.15
2012May-0.23
2012June-0.29
2012July-0.35
2012August-0.46
2012September-0.54
2012October-0.62
2012November-0.74
2012December-0.85
2013January-0.93
2013February-1.06
2013March-1.14
2013April-1.2
2013May-1.27
2013June-1.29
2013July-1.29
2013August-1.29
2013September-1.23
2013October-1.15
2013November-1.07
2013December-0.99
2014January-0.92
2014February-0.87
2014March-0.84
2014April-0.83
2014May-0.82
2014June-0.81
2014July-0.8
2014August-0.79
2014September-0.78
2014October-0.77
2014November-0.74
2014December-0.7
2015January-0.65
2015February-0.6
2015March-0.54
2015April-0.48
2015May-0.42
2015June-0.37
2015July-0.33
2015August-0.29
2015September-0.26
2015October-0.26
2015November-0.24
2015December-0.22
2016January-0.23
2016February-0.21
2016March-0.2
2016April-0.2
2016May-0.16
2016June-0.13
2016July-0.11
2016August-0.05
2016September-0.01
2016October0.03
2016November0.09
2016December0.13
2017January0.17
2017February0.23
2017March0.28
2017April0.31
2017May0.37
2017June0.4
2017July0.43
2017August0.48
2017September0.52
2017October0.55
2017November0.61
2017December0.64
2018January0.68
2018February0.74
2018March0.78
2018April0.8
2018May0.82
2018June0.83
2018July0.82
2018August0.82
2018September0.81
2018October0.77
2018November0.76
2018December0.72
2019January0.66
2019February0.62
2019March0.57
2019April0.54
2019May0.51
2019June0.49
2019July0.46
2019August0.42
2019September0.38
2019October0.34
2019November0.3

Consumer and producer confidence hardly changed

In October, confidence among Dutch manufacturers and consumers hardly changed. 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
2019July 23.9
2019August03.9
2019September-23.3
2019October-13.6

Investments, exports and household consumption growing

In Q3 2019, investments in fixed assets were 7.4 percent higher than one year previously. Investments in commercial buildings, transport equipment (mainly passenger cars) and machinery increased in particular.

Exports of goods and services grew by 2.2 percent in Q3 2019. The growth rate was lower than in Q2 2019. Dutch companies exported mainly more chemical products, machinery and appliances. Re-exports (i.e. exports of imported products) grew while exports of domestic products declined.

Consumer spending was up by 1.6 percent in Q3 2019 relative to the same quarter last year. The growth rate was about the same as in the previous quarter, when consumers spent 1.8 percent more year-on-year. In Q3 2019, consumers spent more on services (e.g. accommodation and food services, transport and communication), electrical appliances, home furnishing articles, beverages and tobacco. However, consumer spending on passenger cars was down again.

Manufacturing output over 1 percent up in September

The average daily output generated by the Dutch manufacturing industry was 1.2 percent up in September 2019 compared to the same month last year. For the first time since March 2019, there was year-on-year output growth.

Number of bankruptcies hardly changed

The number of corporate bankruptcies has hardly changed There were 5 fewer bankruptcies in October 2019 than in the previous month. The trend has been relatively stable in recent years.

Number of jobs continues to grow

In Q3 2019, the number of full-time and part-time jobs held by employees and self-employed rose by 21 thousand to 10.686 million jobs relative to the previous quarter, an increase of 0.2 percent. Over a period of twelve months, the number of jobs grew by 128 thousand. This is an increase of 1.2 percent.

The number of jobs has grown for over five consecutive years. Since Q2 2014, it has increased by 958 thousand. This job growth peaked in Q3 2017 at over 74 thousand.

The total number of hours worked by employees and self-employed reached a total of 3.4 billion in Q3 2019. When adjusted for seasonal effects, this is 0.4 percent less than in the previous quarter.

At the end of September, the number of job vacancies stood at 288 thousand, up by 4 thousand compared to the previous quarter. There are currently three times more vacancies than at the lowest point in 2013.

Unemployment increased by 14 thousand to 319 thousand in Q3 2019. This is the first time in 5.5 years that the number of unemployed rose quarter-on-quarter.

Due to the increase in unemployment, tension in the labour market has slightly fallen. In Q3 2019, there were on average 90 job vacancies per 100 unemployed. In Q2 2019, there were 93 vacancies per 100 unemployed.

GDP (volume), seasonally adjusted
YearQuarterIndex (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 1107.9
2017Quarter 2108.9
2017Quarter 3109.7
2017Quarter 4110.5
2018Quarter 1111.2
2018Quarter 2111.9
2018Quarter 3112.2
2018Quarter 4112.8
2019Quarter 1113.3
2019Quarter 2113.7
2019Quarter 3114.2

0.4 percent GDP growth in Q3 2019

Gross domestic product (GDP) rose by 0.4 percent in Q3 2019 relative to the previous quarter, according to the first estimate of GDP conducted by CBS. Growth was mainly due to consumption. GDP grew by 1.9 percent relative to Q3 2018.

On Tuesday 24 December 2019, CBS will publish the second estimate of GDP and employment over Q3 2019.

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