Economic outlook more positive

© Hollandse Hoogte / Robin Utrecht
As of January, the economic situation according to the CBS Business Cycle Tracer has improved. The outlook has had ups and downs in recent months and is on average fairly stable. Statistics Netherlands (CBS) reports that as of January, 10 out of the 13 indicators in the Business Cycle Tracer are performing above their long-term trend.

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 presents a coherent macroeconomic picture based on all the figures published by CBS which does not apply equally to all households, companies 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))
2014January-0.85
2014February-0.81
2014March-0.79
2014April-0.78
2014May-0.76
2014June-0.75
2014July-0.74
2014August-0.73
2014September-0.72
2014October-0.71
2014November-0.68
2014December-0.64
2015January-0.59
2015February-0.54
2015March-0.48
2015April-0.44
2015May-0.39
2015June-0.34
2015July-0.31
2015August-0.27
2015September-0.24
2015October-0.23
2015November-0.21
2015December-0.2
2016January-0.21
2016February-0.19
2016March-0.17
2016April-0.15
2016May-0.1
2016June-0.07
2016July-0.03
2016August0.03
2016September0.07
2016October0.1
2016November0.15
2016December0.19
2017January0.23
2017February0.29
2017March0.35
2017April0.36
2017May0.46
2017June0.48
2017July0.51
2017August0.58
2017September0.62
2017October0.66
2017November0.71
2017December0.76
2018January0.8
2018February0.86
2018March0.9
2018April0.87
2018May0.93
2018June0.92
2018July0.94
2018August0.94
2018September0.93
2018October0.91
2018November0.87
2018December0.84
2019January0.77
2019February0.76
2019March0.72
2019April0.63
2019May0.68
2019June0.65
2019July0.65
2019August0.58
2019September0.53
2019October0.67
2019November0.5
2019December0.54
2020January0.52
2020February0.45
2020March0.4
2020April-0.18
2020May-1.2
2020June-1.91
2020July-1.68
2020August-1.49
2020September-1.06
2020October-1.12
2020November-0.71
2020December-0.55
2021January-0.6
2021February-0.87
2021March-0.66
2021April-0.78
2021May-0.16
2021Juni-0.04
2021Juli0.24
2021August0.68
2021September0.85
2021October0.66
2021November0.84
2021December0.74
2022January0.87

Producer and consumer confidence deteriorated

In January, consumers were again more negative than in the previous month. Consumer confidence was positioned far below the average over the past two decades. Producer confidence as well deteriorated compared to December.

Consumer and producer confidence (seasonally adjusted)
YearMonthConsumer confidence (average of the component questions)Producer confidence (average of the component questions)
2018January2410.3
2018February2310.9
2018March249.5
2018April258.2
2018May239.8
2018June237.7
2018July236.3
2018August215.9
2018September195.7
2018October155.9
2018November137.2
2018December97.5
2019January05.8
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
2019November-22.8
2019December-22.9
2020January-32.5
2020February-23.7
2020March-20.2
2020April-22-28.7
2020May-31-25.1
2020June-27-15.1
2020July-26-8.7
2020August-29-5.4
2020September-28-4.8
2020October-30-5.6
2020November-26-3.8
2020December-20-0.4
2021January-190.6
2021February-190.1
2021March-183.4
2021April-146.5
2021May-98.8
2021June-311.5
2021July-412.3
2021August-69.6
2021September-511.1
2021October-1012.3
2021November-1912.7
2021December-2510.2
2022January-289

Higher household consumption, exports and investments

Consumers spent 8.7 percent more in November 2021 than one year previously (shopping-day adjusted). They mainly spent more on services. Compared to November 2019, consumers spent 1.6 percent more.

In November 2021, the total volume of goods exports was up by 8.7 percent year onyear (workday-adjusted). The increase was mainly seen in exports of chemical products, metal products and transport equipment. Relative to November 2019, exports were 10.2 percent higher.

The volume of investments in tangible fixed assets rose by 1.9 percent year on year in November 2021. Investments in dwellings and buildings were higher in particular. However, there were fewer investments in passenger cars and infrastructure. Compared to November 2019, investments were over 1 percent lower. Investment figures are not adjusted for working days; November 2021 had one working day more than November 2020.

Manufacturing output almost 11 percent up in November

In November 2021, the average daily output generated by the Dutch manufacturing industry was up by 10.6 percent on November 2020. Output was up by 9.9 percent in the previous month. In November, manufacturing output was at its highest level ever.

Fewer bankruptcies in December

There were 30 fewer bankruptcies (adjusted for court session days) in December than in the previous month. The number of pronounced bankruptcies is historically low.

House price increase 20.4 percent in December

In December 2021, owner-occupied dwellings (excluding new constructions) were on average 20.4 percent more expensive than one year previously. It is the largest price increase since the start of this statistic in 1995. 

More hours worked, more vacancies, fewer unemployed

In Q3 2021, the number of hours worked adjusted for seasonal effects was 1.8 percent higher than in Q2 2021. Total hours worked by employees and self-employed people over Q3 2021 amounted to approximately 3.5 billion.

In the period October through December, unemployment declined by an average of 10 thousand per month, to 369 thousand in December. This is 3.8 percent of the labour force.

At the end of September, the number of unfilled vacancies stood at 371 thousand. This is 45 thousand more than at the end of the previous quarter. This surpasses the record high of the previous quarter (327 thousand).

In Q3 2021, turnover at temporary employment agencies rose by 2.8 percent relative to the previous quarter. Year on year, this turnover increased by 14.2 percent.

2.1 percent GDP growth in Q3 2021

According to the second estimate conducted by CBS, gross domestic product (GDP) increased by 2.1 percent in Q3 2021 relative to the previous quarter. This economic growth was mainly due to increased household consumption. Public consumption also contributed positively. Relative to Q3 2020, GDP was up by 5.2 percent. 

GDP (volume), seasonally adjusted
YearQuarterIndex (2015=100)
2014Quarter 197.3
2014Quarter 297.9
2014Quarter 398.1
2014Quarter 499
2015Quarter 199.6
2015Quarter 299.9
2015Quarter 3100.2
2015Quarter 4100.3
2016Quarter 1101.2
2016Quarter 2101.4
2016Quarter 3102.6
2016Quarter 4103.4
2017Quarter 1103.9
2017Quarter 2104.9
2017Quarter 3105.6
2017Quarter 4106.5
2018Quarter 1106.9
2018Quarter 2107.5
2018Quarter 3107.9
2018Quarter 4108.4
2019Quarter 1109
2019Quarter 2109.5
2019Quarter 3109.9
2019Quarter 4110.4
2020Quarter 1108.6
2020Quarter 299.5
2020Quarter 3107
2020Quarter 4107
2021Quarter 1106.2
2021Quarter 2110.2
2021Quarter 3112.5