Economic outlook slightly improved

© CBS / Alrik Swagerman
The economic climate in August 2022 has slighty improved compared to July, according to the CBS Business Cycle Tracer. Statistics Netherlands (CBS) reports that as of August, 11 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. It presents a coherent macroeconomic picture of the past month or quarter, based on all the figures published by CBS. However, it does not apply equally to all households, enterprises 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))
2015January-0.58
2015February-0.53
2015March-0.48
2015April-0.42
2015May-0.37
2015June-0.32
2015July-0.29
2015August-0.25
2015September-0.23
2015October-0.22
2015November-0.2
2015December-0.19
2016January-0.2
2016February-0.18
2016March-0.15
2016April-0.13
2016May-0.09
2016June-0.08
2016July-0.05
2016August0.01
2016September0.05
2016October0.08
2016November0.14
2016December0.18
2017January0.23
2017February0.29
2017March0.34
2017April0.38
2017May0.43
2017June0.47
2017July0.5
2017August0.56
2017September0.6
2017October0.64
2017November0.7
2017December0.75
2018January0.8
2018February0.85
2018March0.88
2018April0.88
2018May0.89
2018June0.89
2018July0.86
2018August0.87
2018September0.86
2018October0.83
2018November0.82
2018December0.78
2019January0.74
2019February0.71
2019March0.68
2019April0.64
2019May0.63
2019June0.59
2019July0.56
2019August0.51
2019September0.47
2019October0.44
2019November0.39
2019December0.48
2020January0.37
2020February0.3
2020March0.19
2020April-0.36
2020May-1.06
2020June-2.01
2020July-2.02
2020August-1.31
2020September-1.15
2020October-0.94
2020November-0.88
2020December-0.64
2021January-0.75
2021February-1
2021March-0.95
2021April-0.8
2021May-0.52
2021Juni-0.32
2021Juli-0.01
2021August0.19
2021September0.28
2021October0.37
2021November0.47
2021December0.52
2022January0.5
2022February0.2
2022March0.39
2022April0.46
2022May0.63
2022June0.68
2022July0.64
2022August0.72

Consumer confidence at all-time low, producers less positive

As of August 2022, consumer confidence has dropped further to an all-time low. The consumer confidence indicator is positioned well below its long-term average over the past two decades. Producer confidence has deteriorated in August, but is positioned above its long-term average.

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
2022February-308.5
2022March-398.7
2022April-4810.8
2022May-479.9
2022June-508.1
2022July -518.4
2022August-544.6

Higher household consumption, exports and investments

Consumers spent 5.2 percent more in June 2022 compared to June one year previously. They spent more on services, but less on goods. Household consumption growth was less substantial in June than in the preceding months of 2022.

In June 2022, the total volume of goods exports was up by 3.8 percent year on year. In the previous month, exports increased by almost 3 percent. The increase over June was mainly seen in exports of machinery and chemical products.

The volume of investments in tangible fixed assets was 8.2 percent larger year on year. This is mainly because investments in aircraft, vessels, dwellings, buildings and machinery were up.

Manufacturing output over 6 percent up in June

In June 2022, the average daily output generated by the Dutch manufacturing industry was up by 6.2 percent on June 2021. The growth was lower than in previous months.

Fewer bankruptcies in July

The number of corporate bankruptcies, adjusted for court session days, has decreased. There were 16 fewer bankruptcies in July than in the previous month. The number of pronounced bankruptcies is low compared to the period before the outbreak of the coronavirus crisis.

House price increase levelled off again in July

In July, owner-occupied dwellings (excluding new constructions) were on average 14.5 percent more expensive than in the same month last year. The price increase was 16.6 percent in June.

More hours worked and vacancies, more unemployed

In Q2 2022, the number of hours worked adjusted for seasonal effects was 2.6 percent higher than in Q1 2022. Total hours worked by employees and self-employed people over Q2 2022 amounted to approximately 3.7 billion.

At the end of June, the number of unfilled vacancies stood at 467 thousand. This is 16 thousand more than at the end of the previous quarter. This is the eighth consecutive quarter that the number of vacancies has increased. The number of vacancies has more than doubled in two years.

In July 2022, unemployment increased further to 353 thousand. This is 3.6 percent of the labour force.

In Q1 2022, turnover at temporary employment and job placement agencies rose by 5.8 percent relative to the previous quarter.

GDP (volume), seasonally adjusted
YearQuarterIndex (2015=100)
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 1104
2017Quarter 2104.9
2017Quarter 3105.6
2017Quarter 4106.4
2018Quarter 1106.9
2018Quarter 2107.6
2018Quarter 3107.8
2018Quarter 4108.3
2019Quarter 1109
2019Quarter 2109.5
2019Quarter 3109.9
2019Quarter 4110.4
2020Quarter 1108.8
2020Quarter 2100.2
2020Quarter 3106.4
2020Quarter 4106.4
2021Quarter 1106.5
2021Quarter 2110.5
2021Quarter 3112.2
2021Quarter 4113
2022Quarter 1113.5
2022Quarter 2116.5

Economic growth of 2.6 percent in Q2 2022

According to the first quarterly estimate conducted by Statistics Netherlands (CBS) on the basis of currently available data, in Q2 2022 gross domestic product (GDP) grew by 2.6 percent relative to the previous quarter. The balance of trade (exports minus imports) and investments contributed the most to economic growth. Household consumption also made a positive contribution.

GDP was up by 5.3 percent relative to Q2 2021. Household consumption, the trade balance and investments were higher in particular. Public consumption made a slightly negative contribution to year-on-year growth.