Economic outlook deteriorated

© CBS / Nikki van Toorn
The economic climate in December 2022 is more negative than it was in November, according to the CBS Business Cycle Tracer. Statistics Netherlands (CBS) reports that as of December, 8 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-0.52
2015March-0.47
2015April-0.42
2015May-0.37
2015June-0.32
2015July-0.29
2015August-0.25
2015September-0.22
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-0.07
2016July-0.04
2016August0.01
2016September0.05
2016October0.09
2016November0.14
2016December0.19
2017January0.23
2017February0.29
2017March0.34
2017April0.37
2017May0.43
2017June0.46
2017July0.48
2017August0.54
2017September0.59
2017October0.63
2017November0.7
2017December0.75
2018January0.79
2018February0.84
2018March0.87
2018April0.87
2018May0.88
2018June0.87
2018July0.85
2018August0.85
2018September0.85
2018October0.82
2018November0.82
2018December0.78
2019January0.73
2019February0.71
2019March0.67
2019April0.64
2019May0.62
2019June0.58
2019July0.55
2019August0.5
2019September0.47
2019October0.45
2019November0.4
2019December0.49
2020January0.38
2020February0.31
2020March0.2
2020April-0.36
2020May-1.07
2020June-2.02
2020July-2.03
2020August-1.33
2020September-1.16
2020October-0.95
2020November-0.89
2020December-0.65
2021January-0.77
2021February-1.02
2021March-0.98
2021April-0.84
2021May-0.58
2021Juni-0.39
2021Juli-0.07
2021August0.14
2021September0.24
2021October0.36
2021November0.46
2021December0.51
2022January0.49
2022February0.18
2022March0.35
2022April0.4
2022May0.54
2022June0.54
2022July0.43
2022August0.39
2022September0.25
2022October0.11
2022November0.07
2022December-0.01

Consumers less pessimistic, producer confidence improving

Consumers are less gloomy in December than they were in November. However, consumer confidence is still exceptionally low. Consumer confidence is well below the long-term average over the past two decades. Producer confidence has also improved slightly in December and is 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
2022November-573
2022December-523.3

Higher household consumption, exports and investments

Households spent 0.6 percent more in October 2022 year on year, adjusted for price changes and differences in the shopping day pattern. As in the previous months, they spent more on services, but less on goods.

In October 2022, the volume of investments in tangible fixed assets was 4.5 percent larger year on year. This is mainly because investments in buildings and passenger cars were up. There were fewer investments in infrastructure.

The total volume (adjusted for working days) of goods exports was up by 8.5 percent year on year. The increase over October was mainly seen in exports of petroleum products, transport equipment and machinery and appliances.

Manufacturing output over 3 percent up in October

In October 2022, the average daily output generated by the Dutch manufacturing industry was up by 3.3 percent on October 2021. Growth was lower compared to the preceding one and a half years.

More bankruptcies in November

The number of corporate bankruptcies, adjusted for court session days, increased slightly. The number of bankruptcies was at the highest level in more than two years, but remained low compared to the period before the outbreak of coronavirus.

House price increase levelled off further in November

In November, owner-occupied dwellings (excluding new constructions) were on average 4.9 percent more expensive than in the same month last year. The price increase was 7.8 percent in the previous month. It is the lowest year-on-year price increase in more than six years. Relative to October, the price index of owner-occupied dwellings fell by 1.0 percent in November.

Fewer hours worked and job vacancies, but also lower unemployment

In Q3 2022, the number of hours worked, adjusted for seasonal effects, was 1.6 percent lower than in Q2 2022. Total hours worked by employees and self-employed people over Q3 2022 amounted to approximately 3.6 billion.

At the end of September, there were 449 thousand unfilled vacancies, 17 thousand less than at the end of the second quarter. It is the first drop after the number of vacancies increased for eight consecutive quarters.

In November 2022, 364 thousand people were unemployed. From September through November, unemployment declined by an average of 5 thousand per month. The unemployment rate fell to 3.6 percent.

In Q3 2022, turnover at temporary employment and job placement agencies rose by 2.5 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 1104.0
2017Quarter 2104.9
2017Quarter 3105.6
2017Quarter 4106.4
2018Quarter 1106.9
2018Quarter 2107.6
2018Quarter 3107.8
2018Quarter 4108.3
2019Quarter 1109.0
2019Quarter 2109.5
2019Quarter 3109.9
2019Quarter 4110.4
2020Quarter 1108.7
2020Quarter 2100.1
2020Quarter 3106.5
2020Quarter 4106.5
2021Quarter 1106.5
2021Quarter 2110.4
2021Quarter 3112.4
2021Quarter 4113.1
2022Quarter 1113.4
2022Quarter 2116.2
2022Quarter 3115.9

Economic contraction 0.2 percent in Q3 2022

According to the second quarterly estimate conducted by Statistics Netherlands (CBS) on the basis of currently available data, in Q3 2022 gross domestic product (GDP) decreased by 0.2 percent relative to the previous quarter. This was due to lower investments, mainly those in dwellings and in infrastructure.

According to the second estimate, GDP was up by 3.1 percent relative to Q3 2021. In particular, the trade balance, household consumption and investments contributed to this growth.