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.
|Year||Month||cycle (distance to the long-term trend (=0))|
Consumers almost as negative, manufacturers less positive
Consumers are almost as pessimistic in May as they were in the previous month. However, consumer confidence is low and well below the long-term average over the past two decades. Producer confidence deteriorated again in May, but was above its long-term average.
|Year||Month||Consumer confidence (average of the component questions)||Producer confidence (average of the component questions)|
Household consumption, export and investments up
Households spent 0.8 percent more in March 2023 year on year, adjusted for price changes and shopping-day pattern. They spent more on services, but less on goods.
In March 2023, the total volume (working-day adjusted) of goods exports was up by 2.4 percent year on year. The increase was mainly seen in exports of petroleum products, machinery and appliances, and transport equipment.
The volume of investments in tangible fixed assets was up by 4.4 percent year on year. This is mainly due to more investments in buildings and passenger cars.
Manufacturing output 4 percent down in March
In March 2023, the average daily output of the Dutch manufacturing industry was 4.0 percent lower than in March 2022. Output also contracted year on year in the first two months of 2023.
More bankruptcies in April
The number of corporate bankruptcies, adjusted for court session days, has increased. There were 26 more bankruptcies in April than in the previous month. This is an increase of 12 percent. The number of bankruptcies remained below the pre-pandemic level.
House prices over 4 percent lower in April
In April, owner-occupied dwellings (excluding new constructions) were on average 4.4 percent cheaper than in April 2022. In the previous month, the year-on-year decline was 2.3 percent.
Fewer hours worked, fewer unemployed, equal number of vacancies
In Q1 2023, the number of hours worked, adjusted for seasonal effects, was 0.4 percent lower than in Q4 2022. Total hours worked by employees and self-employed people over Q1 2023 amounted to over 3.6 billion.
At the end of March, there were 437 thousand unfilled vacancies, just as many as at the end of December 2022. This stabilisation follows two quarters of decline.
In April 2023, 343 thousand people aged 15 to 74 years were unemployed. The unemployment rate in that month stood at 3.4 percent. From February through April, unemployment increased by an average of 6 thousand per month.
In Q4 2022, turnover at temporary employment and job placement agencies rose by 1.8 percent relative to the previous quarter.
Economic contraction 0.7 percent in Q1 2023
According to the first quarterly estimate, in Q1 2023 gross domestic product (GDP) decreased by 0.7 percent relative to the previous quarter. In Q4 2022, GDP rose by 0.4 percent. The contraction in the first quarter of 2023 is mainly due to a decline in the trade balance and to increased gas withdrawals from storage facilities.