Economic picture less favourable

According to the CBS Business Cycle Tracer, the economic situation in February is less favourable than in the previous month. Statistics Netherlands (CBS) reports that nine 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))
YearMonthcycle
2012January-0.04
February-0.09
March-0.12
April-0.15
May-0.23
June-0.29
July-0.35
August-0.46
September-0.54
October-0.62
November-0.75
December-0.85
2013January-0.94
February-1.06
March-1.15
April-1.2
May-1.27
June-1.3
July-1.3
August-1.29
September-1.23
October-1.16
November-1.08
December-0.99
2014January-0.93
February-0.88
March-0.85
April-0.84
May-0.82
June-0.82
July-0.81
August-0.79
September-0.79
October-0.77
November-0.74
December-0.7
2015January-0.65
February-0.6
March-0.54
April-0.49
May-0.43
June-0.37
July-0.34
August-0.3
September-0.27
October-0.26
November-0.24
December-0.23
2016January-0.23
February-0.21
March-0.21
April-0.2
May-0.16
June-0.14
July-0.11
August-0.06
September-0.02
October0.02
November0.07
December0.12
2017January0.16
February0.22
March0.27
April0.3
May0.36
June0.39
July0.42
August0.47
September0.51
October0.54
November0.6
December0.63
2018January0.67
February0.72
March0.76
April0.78
May0.8
June0.81
July0.79
August0.79
September0.78
October0.75
November0.73
December0.69
2019January0.64
February0.59
March0.54
April0.51
May0.48
June0.46
July0.43
August0.4
September0.36
October0.32
November0.29
December0.26
2020January0.24
February0.21

Consumer confidence virtually equal, producer confidence down

In January, consumer confidence was more or less the same as in December. Producer confidence was less favourable than in December. Both consumer and producer confidence are above the long-term average.

Consumer and producer confidence (seasonally adjusted) (average of the component questions)
YearMonthConsumer confidenceProducer confidence
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
October238.2
November229.1
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
2019January15.8
February-26.3
March-46.1
April-36.7
May-34.7
June03.3
July 23.9
August03.9
September-23.3
October-13.6
November-22.8
December-22.9
2020January-32.5

Investments, exports and household consumption growing

In Q4 2019, the volume of investments in fixed assets was 4.2 percent up relative to the same quarter in 2018. This was mainly due to higher investments in passenger cars, aircraft and machinery.

The total volume of exports grew by 3.7 percent in Q4 year-on-year. Exports of machinery, petroleum products and chemical products increased in particular.

Dutch consumers spent 1.8 percent more in Q4 2019 than in Q4 2018. They mainly spent more on home furnishings, electrical appliances, passenger cars and services.

Manufacturing output 0.6 percent down in December

The average daily output generated by the Dutch manufacturing industry was 0.6 percent down in December 2019 compared to the same month one year previously. The year-on-year decline was smaller than in the previous month.

More bankruptcies in January

Adjusted for court session days, there were 28 more corporate bankruptcies in January than in the previous month. The trend has been relatively stable in recent years.

Number of jobs continues to grow

In Q4 2019, the number of full-time and part-time jobs held by employees and self-employed rose by 48 thousand to 10,740 thousand jobs. This is an increase of 0.4 percent relative to the previous quarter. Over a period of twelve months, the number of jobs grew by 153 thousand.

The number of jobs has grown for almost six consecutive years. Since Q2 2014, it has increased by 1,012 thousand.

The total number of hours worked by employees and self-employed reached almost a total of 3.5 billion in Q4 2019. When adjusted for seasonal effects, this is 0.8 percent more than in the previous quarter.

At the end of December, the number of job vacancies stood at 291 thousand, up by over 3 thousand compared to the previous quarter.

Unemployment (according to the ILO definition) fell by 3 thousand to 316 thousand in Q4. This means that 3.4 percent of the labour force were unemployed.

Tension in the labour market has grown slightly. In Q4 2019, there were on average 92 job vacancies per 100 unemployed. In Q3 2019, there were 90 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 2113.7
Quarter 3114.2
Quarter 4114.6

0.4 percent GDP growth in Q4 2019

According to the first estimate of GDP conducted by CBS, gross domestic product (GDP) rose by 0.4 percent in Q4 2019 relative to the previous quarter. Growth was mainly due to consumption, investments and the trade balance. GDP grew by 1.5 percent relative to Q4 2018.

On Wednesday 25 March 2020, CBS will publish the second estimate of GDP and employment over Q4 2019.

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