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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, excluding GDP, in the CBS Business Cycle Tracer)
2017 January 0.22
2017 February 0.28
2017 March 0.33
2017 April 0.36
2017 May 0.42
2017 June 0.45
2017 July 0.48
2017 August 0.54
2017 September 0.58
2017 October 0.62
2017 November 0.68
2017 December 0.72
2018 January 0.76
2018 February 0.81
2018 March 0.84
2018 April 0.84
2018 May 0.86
2018 June 0.85
2018 July 0.84
2018 August 0.85
2018 September 0.84
2018 October 0.82
2018 November 0.82
2018 December 0.78
2019 January 0.73
2019 February 0.71
2019 March 0.67
2019 April 0.64
2019 May 0.63
2019 June 0.6
2019 July 0.57
2019 August 0.53
2019 September 0.5
2019 October 0.48
2019 November 0.41
2019 December 0.5
2020 January 0.38
2020 February 0.3
2020 March 0.19
2020 April -0.37
2020 May -1.06
2020 June -2
2020 July -2.01
2020 August -1.33
2020 September -1.18
2020 October -0.97
2020 November -0.9
2020 December -0.64
2021 January -0.73
2021 February -0.95
2021 March -0.89
2021 April -0.74
2021 May -0.49
2021 Juni -0.32
2021 Juli -0.03
2021 August 0.37
2021 September 0.45
2021 October 0.54
2021 November 0.63
2021 December 0.67
2022 January 0.63
2022 February 0.31
2022 March 0.46
2022 April 0.55
2022 May 0.69
2022 June 0.71
2022 July 0.64
2022 August 0.63
2022 September 0.52
2022 October 0.4
2022 November 0.33
2022 December 0.23
2023 January 0.13
2023 February 0.01
2023 March -0.09
2023 April -0.21
2023 May -0.36
2023 June -0.49
2023 July -0.61
2023 August -0.75
2023 September -0.83
2023 October -0.89
2023 November -0.97

Consumer and producer confidence less negative

In November 2023, Dutch consumers were less negative than in the previous month. However, confidence was still far below the long-term average over the past two decades. Producers were also less negative than in October, with confidence remaining below the 20-year average as well.

Consumer and producer confidence (seasonally adjusted)
2019 January 0 5.8
2019 February -2 6.3
2019 March -4 6.1
2019 April -3 6.7
2019 May -3 4.7
2019 June 0 3.3
2019 July 2 3.9
2019 August 0 3.9
2019 September -2 3.3
2019 October -1 3.6
2019 November -2 2.8
2019 December -2 2.9
2020 January -3 2.5
2020 February -2 3.7
2020 March -2 0.2
2020 April -22 -28.7
2020 May -31 -25.1
2020 June -27 -15.1
2020 July -26 -8.7
2020 August -29 -5.4
2020 September -28 -4.8
2020 October -30 -5.6
2020 November -26 -3.8
2020 December -20 -0.4
2021 January -19 0.6
2021 February -19 0.1
2021 March -18 3.4
2021 April -14 6.5
2021 May -9 8.8
2021 June -3 11.5
2021 July -4 12.3
2021 August -6 9.6
2021 September -5 11.1
2021 October -10 12.3
2021 November -19 12.7
2021 December -25 10.2
2022 January -28 9
2022 February -30 8.5
2022 March -39 8.7
2022 April -48 10.8
2022 May -47 9.9
2022 June -50 8.1
2022 July -51 8.4
2022 August -54 4.6
2022 September -59 2.6
2022 October -59 2.5
2022 November -57 3
2022 December -52 3.3
2023 January -49 3.6
2023 February -44 3.7
2023 March -39 4
2023 April -37 3
2023 May -38 2.1
2023 June -39 1
2023 July -39 0.1
2023 August -40 -2.2
2023 September -39 -2.2
2023 October -38 -1.8
2023 November -33 -0.5

Household consumption, investments and exports down

In September, the total volume of goods exports (adjusted for number of working days) was down by 4.8 percent year on year. Export volumes of chemical products, food, beverages and tobacco, electronic machines and optical appliances in particular were lower.

Adjusted for price changes and shopping-day pattern, households spent 1.9 percent less in September 2023 year on year, adjusted for price changes. They bought fewer services and fewer goods.

The volume of investments in tangible fixed assets was down by 1.6 percent year on year. This is mainly due to lower investments in aircraft and residential property. However, more was invested in passenger cars.

Manufacturing output over 10 percent down in September

In September 2023, the average daily output of the Dutch manufacturing industry was 10.3 percent lower than in September 2022. Output also contracted year on year in the preceding months of 2023. Relative to August, output fell by 0.9 percent in September.

Marginally fewer bankruptcies in October

Adjusted for the number of court session days, there were 4 fewer bankruptcies in October 2023 than in the previous month; a decrease of 1 percent. However, the trend in the number of bankruptcies has been upward for over a year.

House prices over 2 percent lower in October

In October 2023, prices of owner-occupied dwellings (excluding new constructions) were on average 2.3 percent lower than in October 2022. This means the year-on-year trend downwards has levelled off further. Relative to September 2023, prices rose by 0.7 percent in October.

Fewer vacancies, fewer unemployed, same number of hours worked

In Q3 2023, the number of hours worked, adjusted for seasonal effects, was the same as in the previous quarter. Total hours worked by employees and self-employed people over Q3 2023 amounted to over 3.6 billion.

For the fifth consecutive quarter, there were fewer unfilled vacancies than in the previous quarter. At the end of Q3, there were 416 thousand unfilled vacancies, 12 thousand fewer than at the end of Q2.

In October, unemployment fell to 3.6 percent of the labour force.It was still 3.7 percent in September, which means that the slight increase in unemployment over the past six months did not continue. On average over the past three months, the number of unemployed remained roughly the same, ending at 361 thousand in October.

In Q2 2023, turnover at temporary employment and job placement agencies fell by 0.3 percent relative to the previous quarter.

Economic contraction 0.2 percent in Q3 2023

According to the first quarterly estimate conducted by Statistics Netherlands (CBS), the volume of gross domestic product (GDP) fell by 0.2 percent in Q3 2023 relative to the previous quarter. This is the third consecutive quarter with contraction. In Q1 and Q2 2023, GDP fell by 0.5 and 0.4 percent respectively. The contraction in Q3 can mainly be attributed to declining investments in fixed assets and a decline in inventory changes.

GDP (volume), seasonally adjusted
2017 Quarter 1 104
2017 Quarter 2 104.9
2017 Quarter 3 105.6
2017 Quarter 4 106.4
2018 Quarter 1 106.9
2018 Quarter 2 107.6
2018 Quarter 3 107.8
2018 Quarter 4 108.3
2019 Quarter 1 109.2
2019 Quarter 2 109.5
2019 Quarter 3 109.7
2019 Quarter 4 110.4
2020 Quarter 1 108.9
2020 Quarter 2 99.8
2020 Quarter 3 106.2
2020 Quarter 4 106.8
2021 Quarter 1 108.1
2021 Quarter 2 111.4
2021 Quarter 3 113.7
2021 Quarter 4 114.5
2022 Quarter 1 115.1
2022 Quarter 2 117.1
2022 Quarter 3 117.2
2022 Quarter 4 118.1
2023 Quarter 1 117.5
2023 Quarter 2 117
2023 Quarter 3 116.8

Source of original article: Statistics Netherlands (CBS) (www.cbs.nl).
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