The CBS Business Cycle Tracer is a tool used to monitor the state and the course of the Dutch economy and is based on 13 key macro-economic indicators. Together, these provide a coherent macro-economic picture based on CBS figures which are being published over the past month or quarter. It does not necessarily represent the situation at the level of of individual households, businesses or regions.
|Year||Month||cycle (distance to the long-term trend (=0))|
Consumers and producers slightly less negative
Consumer confidence has recovered slightly relative to the previous month, while producer confidence showed a slight improvement in May over April. Both consumer and producer confidence are below their long-term averages.
|Year||Month||Consumer confidence (average of the component questions)||Producer confidence (average of the component questions)|
Exports, investments and household consumption down
In April 2020, consumers spent 17.4 percent less than in April 2019. This is by far the largest contraction in domestic household consumption which has ever been recorded by CBS. Consumers mainly spent less on services, durable goods and motor fuels; on the other hand, they spent more on food, beverages and tobacco.
In April 2020, the total volume of goods exports shrank by 11.2 percent year-on-year. This is the biggest contraction in exports since July 2009. In April, exports of transport equipment and machinery decreased in particular. Domestic exports contracted more significantly than re-exports.
The volume of investments in tangible fixed assets was 10.6 percent down in April 2020 relative to the same month last year. This is the largest contraction since July 2013. The decline is mainly due to lower investments in buildings, passenger cars, delivery vans, lorries and semi-trailers, and machinery.
Manufacturing output 11 percent down in April
In April 2020, the average daily output generated by the Dutch manufacturing industry was 11 percent down on April 2019. Output showed the largest year-on-year decrease since mid-2009.
Fewer bankruptcies in May
Adjusted for court session days, there were 73 fewer corporate bankruptcies in May than in the previous month.The trend has been slightly upwards since October 2018.
Several weeks may pass between the date of filing for bankruptcy and the court decision. As of week 14, Dutch courts are granting a longer application period of at least four weeks in cases of a bankruptcy petition being made (i.e. by claimants), unless the procedures are deemed urgent. In addition, the Dutch government has established an emergency package for the economy and the job market in order to provide the proper support to Dutch businesses.
Number of jobs continues to grow
In Q1 2020, the number of full-time and part-time jobs held by employees and self-employed rose by 22 thousand to 10,859 thousand jobs. This is an increase of 0.2 percent relative to the previous quarter and the lowest increase since Q1 2016. Compared to Q1 2019, the number of jobs grew by 137 thousand, an increase of 1.3 percent.The figures include the jobs which could not be continued due to the coronavirus crisis but for which workers are still being paid.
The total number of hours worked by employees and self-employed reached a total of over 3.4 billion in Q1 2020. When adjusted for seasonal effects, this is 2.2 percent less than in the previous quarter.
At the end of March, the number of unfilled job vacancies stood at 226 thousand, down by over 60 thousand on the previous quarter. This is the first quarterly decline in seven years’ time and also the largest decline in absolute terms.
Tension in the labour market has fallen slightly. In Q1 2020, there were on average 82 job vacancies per 100 unemployed. In Q4 2019, there were 91 vacancies per 100 unemployed.
In May 2020, there were 330 thousand unemployed people (unemployment according to the ILO definition), i.e. 16 thousand more than in April. As a result, May’s unemployment rate stood at 3.6 percent, the same level as at the beginning of 2019. It was still 2.9 percent in March, butby April it was 3.4 percent.
1.5 percent GDP contraction in Q1
According to the second estimate of GDP conducted by CBS, gross domestic product (GDP) contracted by 1.5 percent in Q1 2020 relative to the previous quarter. The decline was mainly due to falling household consumption. Relative to Q1 2019, GDP contracted by 0.2 percent.
On Friday 14 August 2020, CBS will publish the first estimate of GDP and employment over Q2 2020.