Economic picture deteriorates further

These are the most recent figures on this topic. View the previous figures here.
© CBS
The economic picture was more negative in May than it was in April, according to the CBS Business Cycle Tracer. Statistics Netherlands (CBS) reports that 11 out of the 13 indicators in the Business Cycle Tracer for May were performing below their long-term trend.

The CBS Business Cycle Tracer is a tool used to monitor the state of the Dutch economy. It provides an overall macroeconomic picture of the past month or quarter, based on all the figures published by CBS. This picture will still vary between households, enterprises or regions, however.

Business Cycle Tracer indicator (unweighted average of the indicators, excluding GDP, in the CBS Business Cycle Tracer)
YearMonthcycle (distance to the long-term trend (=0))
2020January0.38
2020February0.31
2020March0.21
2020April-0.34
2020May-1.02
2020June-1.98
2020July-1.99
2020August-1.3
2020September-1.15
2020October-0.93
2020November-0.87
2020December-0.63
2021January-0.74
2021February-0.95
2021March-0.9
2021April-0.76
2021May-0.53
2021Juni-0.36
2021Juli-0.07
2021August0.31
2021September0.38
2021October0.48
2021November0.59
2021December0.64
2022January0.61
2022February0.31
2022March0.46
2022April0.54
2022May0.67
2022June0.82
2022July0.75
2022August0.74
2022September0.64
2022October0.53
2022November0.48
2022December0.39
2023January0.32
2023February0.23
2023March0.16
2023April0.08
2023May-0.04
2023June-0.13
2023July-0.22
2023August-0.32
2023September-0.38
2023October-0.43
2023November-0.52
2023December-0.59
2024January-0.66
2024February-0.75
2024March-0.81
2024April-0.85
2024May-0.89

Consumers more negative, producers less negative

In May 2024, Dutch consumers were slightly more negative, but producers were less negative than they were in the previous month. However, confidence remained below the long-term average for the past two decades.

Consumenten- en producentenvertrouwen (seizoengecorrigeerd)
jaarmaandConsumentenvertrouwen (gemiddelde van de deelvragen)Producentenvertrouwen (gemiddelde van de deelvragen)
2020januari-3-0.1
2020februari-21
2020maart-2-2.6
2020april-22-31.5
2020mei-31-28.1
2020juni-27-18.7
2020juli-26-11.8
2020augustus-29-7.8
2020september-28-7
2020oktober-30-7.7
2020november-26-6.4
2020december-20-3.2
2021januari-19-1.8
2021februari-19-2.6
2021maart-180.6
2021april-143.6
2021mei-95.6
2021juni-37.8
2021juli-49.2
2021augustus-67.1
2021september-59.1
2021oktober-1010.4
2021november-1910.1
2021december-257.3
2022januari-286.5
2022februari-305.8
2022maart-395.7
2022april-487.2
2022mei-475.8
2022juni-504.2
2022juli-515.3
2022augustus-542.4
2022september-591.2
2022oktober-590.9
2022november-571.1
2022december-521
2023januari-491.1
2023februari-440.9
2023maart-390.9
2023april-37-0.3
2023mei-38-1.7
2023juni-39-2.7
2023juli-39-2.7
2023augustus-40-4.6
2023september-39-3.9
2023oktober-38-3.7
2023november-33-2.6
2023december-29-5.7
2024januari-28-4.4
2024februari-27-4.2
2024maart-22-4.8
2024april-21-3.6
2024mei-22-2.8

Household consumption up, exports and investment down

Households spent 0.4 percent more in March 2024 year on year, adjusted for price changes and shopping-day pattern. Spending was higher on services, but slightly lower on goods.

In March 2024, the total volume of goods exported (adjusted for the number of working days) was down by 5.9 percent year on year. Export volumes were lower for food, beverages and tobacco, chemical products, electrotechnical products and machinery, in particular.

In March 2024, the investment volume for tangible fixed assets was down by 8.6 percent year on year. This was mainly due to lower investment in buildings. Investment in infrastructure and machines was also lower than one year previously.

Manufacturing output down by 6 percent in March

In March 2024, the calendar-adjusted output of Dutch manufacturing was 6.0 percent lower than it was in March 2023. Year-on-year output also contracted in the preceding eight months. After adjusting for seasonal and calendar effects, manufacturing output rose by 1.5 percent in March relative to February.

Slightly more bankruptcies in April

Adjusted for the number of court session days, there were 20 more bankruptcies in April 2024 than in March. That was an increase of 6 percent.

House prices up by 7.5 percent in April

In April 2024, existing owner-occupied dwellings were 7.5 percent more expensive, on average, relative to one year previously. Prices were 1.0 percent higher in April than they were in March.

More hours worked, higher unemployment and more vacancies

In Q1 2023, the number of hours worked rose by 0.4 percent on the previous quarter after adjustment for seasonal effects. Employees and self-employed people worked a total of almost 3.7 billion hours in Q1 2024.

Over the past three months, the number of unemployed people has risen by an average of 2 thousand per month. In April, unemployment stood at 375 thousand, or 3.7 percent of the labour force.

After six quarters of decline, the number of vacancies increased slightly in the first quarter of 2024. At the end of the first quarter, there were 411 thousand vacancies, almost 1 thousand more than at the end of December.

In Q4 2023, the turnover of temporary employment and job placement agencies rose by 1.1 percent relative to the previous quarter.

Economic contraction of 0.1 percent in Q1 2024

According to the first quarterly estimate from Statistics Netherlands (CBS), in Q1 2024 gross domestic product (GDP) contracted by 0.1 percent relative to the previous quarter. This slight contraction in Q1 was mainly due to exports of goods and greater withdrawals from inventories. The decline in export goods is related to the contraction of the manufacturing sector.

Bruto binnenlandse product (volume), seizoengecorrigeerd
JaarKwartaalIndex (2015=100)
20191e kwartaal109.2
20192e kwartaal109.5
20193e kwartaal109.7
20194e kwartaal110.4
20201e kwartaal108.9
20202e kwartaal99.8
20203e kwartaal106.2
20204e kwartaal106.8
20211e kwartaal108.1
20212e kwartaal111.4
20213e kwartaal113.7
20214e kwartaal114.5
20221e kwartaal115.1
20222e kwartaal117.1
20223e kwartaal117.3
20224e kwartaal117.9
20231e kwartaal117.5
20232e kwartaal117
20233e kwartaal116.7
20234e kwartaal117
20241e kwartaal116.9