The Dutch economy is not showing clear signs of recovery in March, while economic developments in February were also at a standstill. The improvements observed in industrial production during the last few months of 2001 did not continue in January. The production level in manufacturing came out below last yearâ€™s level in January.
Producer confidence in February did not change from January, although for the first time in twelve months Dutch entrepreneurs expected an increase in production for the next three-month period.
Consumer confidence was lower in March than it had been in February. Willingness to purchase fell for the third month in a row to the lowest level since late 1996. Positive news for the economy is that the inflation rate fell for the second time in a row in February. Since the start of this year the Netherlands no longer has the highest inflation rate in the Eurozone. The most recent unemployment figures remain virtually unchanged, so that early this year the low level of registered unemployment could be maintained.
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(source: Statistics Netherlands)