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))|
Confidence hardly changed among consumers, slightly down among producers
In March, confidence among Dutch consumers remains virtually the same as in the previous month. The mood among Dutch manufacturers deteriorated slightly in February 2021 but remained positive on balance.
|Year||Month||Consumer confidence (average of the component questions)||Producer confidence (average of the component questions)|
Exports up, household consumption and investments down
In January 2021, the total volume of goods exports (working day adjusted) was up by 3.6 percent year-on-year. This is the highest growth rate ever recorded in a span of twelve months. The increase was mainly seen in exports of machinery and chemical products.
The volume of investments in tangible fixed assets fell by 5.3 percent year-on-year in January 2021. This is in contrast with December, when the level of investments remained unchanged. The decline in January mainly concerned passenger cars, aircraft, buildings and infrastructure.
Consumers spent 13.5 percent less in January 2021 than in the same month last year, adjusted for shopping days. It was the second largest decline ever recorded; only in April 2020 was the decrease in consumption larger. Just as in the preceding months, consumers spent less on services. The closing of all non-essential stores as of 15 December 2020 also led to an exceptionally sharp drop in spending on durable goods.
Manufacturing output 0.6 percent up in January
In January 2021, the average daily output generated by the Dutch manufacturing industry was 0.6 percent up on January 2020. The increase is slightly higher than in December, when output was 0.2 percent higher than one year previously.
Again fewer bankruptcies in February
The number of corporate bankruptcies, adjusted for court session days, has decreased. There were 28 fewer bankruptcies in February than in the previous month. In February, the number of pronounced bankruptcies was at its lowest point since January 1991.
House prices over 10 percent higher in February
In February 2021, owner-occupied dwellings (excluding new constructions) were on average 10.4 percent more expensive than in the same month last year, representing the largest increase in nearly two decades. The price rise moderated in 2019 but picked up again in 2020.
Slight decrease in number of hours worked
In Q4 2020, the number of hours worked, adjusted for seasonal effects, was 1.2 percent lower than in Q3. After a considerable decline in Q2 (-5.4 percent), the number of hours worked rose again by 4.9 percent in Q3. In Q4, the number of hours worked by employees and self-employed people amounted to over 3.3 billion.
At the end of December, the number of unfilled vacancies had dropped to 210 thousand, 6 thousand less than one quarter previously, when the number of vacancies was up by 16 thousand after two consecutive quarters of decline. At the end of 2020, the number of unfilled vacancies was 76 thousand lower than at the end of 2019.
In February, there were 340 thousand unemployed. Just as in January, this is equivalent to 3.6 percent of the labour force. From December 2020 through February 2021, unemployment fell by an average of 13 thousand per month. Between March and August 2020, the unemployment rate rose from 2.9 to 4.6 percent. It then declined on a monthly basis up to January 2021 inclusive.
In Q4 2020, turnover at temporary employment agencies rose by 4.2 percent relative to the previous quarter. Year-on-year, turnover was down by 7.1 percent.
GDP contraction of 0.1 percent in Q4 2020
According to the second estimate conducted by CBS, gross domestic product (GDP) decreased by 0.1 percent in Q4 2020 relative to the previous quarter. This was mainly on account of declining household consumption. Relative Q4 2019, GDP contracted by 2.8 percent. Annual GDP contraction amounted to 3.7 percent.