Economic outlook again less positive

© CBS / Alrik Swagerman
The economic climate in October 2022 was less positive than in September, according to the CBS Business Cycle Tracer. Statistics Netherlands (CBS) reports that as of October, 9 out of the 13 indicators in the Business Cycle Tracer are performing above their long-term trend.

The 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-0.47
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-0.08
2016June-0.08
2016July-0.05
2016August0.01
2016September0.05
2016October0.08
2016November0.14
2016December0.19
2017January0.23
2017February0.29
2017March0.34
2017April0.38
2017May0.43
2017June0.47
2017July0.49
2017August0.56
2017September0.6
2017October0.64
2017November0.71
2017December0.76
2018January0.8
2018February0.85
2018March0.88
2018April0.88
2018May0.89
2018June0.88
2018July0.86
2018August0.86
2018September0.85
2018October0.83
2018November0.82
2018December0.79
2019January0.74
2019February0.71
2019March0.68
2019April0.64
2019May0.62
2019June0.58
2019July0.55
2019August0.51
2019September0.47
2019October0.45
2019November0.4
2019December0.49
2020January0.37
2020February0.3
2020March0.19
2020April-0.36
2020May-1.06
2020June-2.01
2020July-2.01
2020August-1.3
2020September-1.14
2020October-0.93
2020November-0.88
2020December-0.64
2021January-0.75
2021February-1
2021March-0.96
2021April-0.82
2021May-0.55
2021Juni-0.36
2021Juli-0.04
2021August0.17
2021September0.26
2021October0.37
2021November0.48
2021December0.54
2022January0.51
2022February0.2
2022March0.37
2022April0.42
2022May0.57
2022June0.57
2022July0.48
2022August0.47
2022September0.36
2022October0.25

Consumer confidence at all-time low, producer confidence hardly changed

There was little or no change in the confidence of both consumers and producers in October. Consumer confidence remained at its lowest level ever and was well below the long-term average over the past two decades. Producer confidence was slightly less positive in October than a month earlier, but was 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
2022September-592.6
2022October-592.5

Higher household consumption, exports and investments

Households spent 4.1 percent more in August 2022 year on year, adjusted for price changes and number of shopping days. They again spent more on services, but less on goods. Household consumption growth was slightly lower than in the preceding month.

The volume of investments in tangible fixed assets was 3.1 percent larger year on year. This is mainly because investments in buildings, machinery and passenger cars were up. However, investments in infrastructure were lower than in August 2021.

In August 2022, the total volume of goods exports was up by 2.5 percent year on year. Growth is slightly larger than in the previous month. The increase over August was mainly seen in exports of machinery and appliances.

Manufacturing output almost 6 percent up in August

In August 2022, the average daily output generated by the Dutch manufacturing industry was up by 5.9 percent on August 2021. Growth has been fairly stable over the past three months, but smaller than in the preceding months.

More bankruptcies in September

There were 25 more bankruptcies in September than in the previous month. The number of pronounced bankruptcies is low compared to the period before the outbreak of the coronavirus crisis. In the first three quarters of 2022, it was approximately 5 percent higher than in the first three quarters of 2021.

House price increase levelled off further in September

In September, owner-occupied dwellings (excluding new constructions) were on average 9.4 percent more expensive than in the same month last year. The price increase was 11.9 percent in August. It is the fifth consecutive month that price growth has levelled off.

More hours worked and job vacancies, higher unemployment

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. It is the eighth quarter in a row that the number of vacancies has increased. The number of unfilled job vacancies has more than doubled in two years.

In September 2022, there were 382 thousand unemployed. Just as in August, this was equivalent to 3.8 percent of the labour force. From July through September, unemployment rose by an average of 14 thousand per month.

In Q2 2022, turnover at temporary employment and job placement agencies rose by 0.7 percent relative to the previous quarter.

GDP (volume)
YearQuarterIndex (year-on-year % change)
2015Quarter 11.9
2015Quarter 22.1
2015Quarter 32.5
2015Quarter 41.4
2016Quarter 12.1
2016Quarter 22.3
2016Quarter 32.1
2016Quarter 42.2
2017Quarter 13.2
2017Quarter 23.0
2017Quarter 32.8
2017Quarter 42.6
2018Quarter 12.6
2018Quarter 22.7
2018Quarter 32.2
2018Quarter 41.9
2019Quarter 11.8
2019Quarter 21.9
2019Quarter 32.1
2019Quarter 42.0
2020Quarter 1-0.1
2020Quarter 2-8.7
2020Quarter 3-3.3
2020Quarter 4-3.3
2021Quarter 1-2.2
2021Quarter 210.2
2021Quarter 35.4
2021Quarter 46.2
2022Quarter 16.7
2022Quarter 25.1

Economic growth of 2.6 percent in Q2 2022

According to the second 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. Investments and the balance of trade (exports minus imports) contributed the most to economic growth. Household consumption also made a positive contribution.

GDP was up by 5.1 percent relative to Q2 2021. Household consumption, the trade balance and investments contributed to the growth in particular.