The CBS Business Cycle Tracer is a tool to monitor the state and the cycle of the Dutch economy with 13 key macro-economic indicators. It provides a coherent macro-economic picture based on all the figures published by CBS over the past month or quarter and does not necessarily represent the situation at the level of individual households, businesses or regions.
|Year||Month||cycle (distance to the long-term trend (=0))|
Consumer and producer confidence improved
In April, confidence improved among both consumers and manufacturing producers. Producer confidence was positioned above its long-term average.
|Year||Month||Consumer confidence (average of the component questions)||Producer confidence (average of the component questions)|
Lower household consumption, exports and investments
In Q1, consumers spent 8.5 percent less than in the same quarter last year. Again, there was significantly lower spending on accommodation and food services, recreation and culture, and transport, as well as on clothing, footwear, home furnishings, passenger cars and motor fuels. On the other hand, consumers spent more on food, beverages, tobacco and energy than one year previously.
Exports of goods and services decreased by 0.7 percent year-on-year in the first quarter. Service exports (including the spending by foreign visitors to the Netherlands) was substantially down on one year previously.
On balance, goods exports were up on twelve months previously with the fastest growth recorded in exports of machinery and chemical products. Exports of Dutch-manufactured products were up by 1.8 percent while 7.1 percent growth was recorded in re-exports (i.e. exports of previously imported products).
In Q1, investments in fixed assets shrank by 0.3 percent year-on-year. There were mainly fewer investments in passenger cars, commercial buildings and infrastructure. However, investments were up in machinery and installations, computers and research and development.
Manufacturing output 3 percent up in March
In March 2021, the average daily output generated by the Dutch manufacturing industry was 3.0 percent up on March 2020. Output was down by 2.3 percent year-on-year one month earlier.
Fewer bankruptcies in April
The number of corporate bankruptcies adjusted for court session days has declined. In April there were 21 fewer bankruptcies than in March. The number of pronounced bankruptcies was at a low level.
Greatest house price increase since summer 2001
In March 2021, owner-occupied dwellings (excluding new constructions) were on average 11.3 percent more expensive than in the same month one year previously. This represents the largest increase since June 2001.
Slightly fewer hours worked
In Q1 2021, the number of hours worked adjusted for seasonal effects was 1.0 percent lower than in Q4 2020. After a considerable decline in Q2 last year (-5.4 percent), the number of hours increased by 4.9 percent in Q3; it subsequently fell for two quarters in a row. Total hours worked by employees and self-employed people over Q1 2021 amounted to over 3.3 billion.
There were 50 thousand fewer unemployed than in the final quarter of 2020, bringing the number to 334 thousand. The fact that 26 thousand unfilled vacancies were added at the same time increased tension on the labour market. In Q1 2021, there were on average 73 job vacancies per 100 unemployed. There were 57 vacancies per 100 unemployed in the previous quarter.
In Q4 2020, turnover at temporary employment agencies rose by 4.2 percent relative to the previous quarter. Year-on-year, this turnover contracted by 7.1 percent.
0.5 percent GDP contraction in Q1 2021
According to the first estimate conducted by CBS, gross domestic product (GDP) decreased by 0.5 percent in Q1 2021 relative to the previous quarter. This was mainly related to household and public consumption. Relative to Q1 2020, GDP contracted by 2.8 percent.