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Economy in Brief

The Czechs And The Dutch - A Little Less Confident In September
by Louise Curley   September 27 2010

The Czech Republic and the Netherlands reported measures of confidence among their consumers and business communities. There were small declines in both measures in both countries. In the Netherlands, the percent balance between consumer optimists and the pessimists declined from -11% in August to -14% in September and between optimists and pessimists in the business community declined from 0.4% in August to -0.1% in September. In the Czech Republic, the corresponding figures were -11.8% to -12.8% and 11.7% to 10.8%.

As can be seen in the first and second charts, in spite of the September declines, the current balances of both consumer and business confidence are well above the depressed levels of the early nineties. In both countries, the balances on business confidence tend to be higher than those on consumer confidence. The gap between the two appears to be bigger for the Czech Republic than for the Netherlands.

To put the current values in perspective it might be useful to refer to the long term average values of each series. When you chart a single series in DLX, values for the minimum, maximum, average and standard deviation over the time span of the chart appear underneath the chart and data. To get the these values for the entire series, simply plot the entire series. In the case of the Netherlands, the data begin in January, 1985 and in the case of the Czech Republic, January, 1998. The minimums, maximums and averages for each of the confidence measures are shown in the table below.

In the Netherlands, the percent balance on consumer confidence, at -14%, is well below the long term average of 0.4%, while the percent balance on business confidence, at -0.1%, is a bit above its long term average of -4.0%.

In the Czech Republic, the percent balance on consumer confidence, at -12.8%, is very close to the long term average of -12.3% and the percent balance on business confidence, at 10.8%, is a good bit above its long term average of 5.6%.

Measures Of Confidence (% Bal.)
  Sep 10 Aug 10 July 10 Jun 10 May 10 Min Max Average
Netherlands
Consumer Confidence -14 -11 -14 -18 -16 -23.5 9.4 0.4
Business Confidence -0.1 0.4 -2.4 -0.7 0.4 -40.0 2.7 -4.0
Czech Republic
Consumer Confidence -12.8 -11.8 -7.3 -7.5 -11.0 -35.0 4.5 -12.3
Business Confidence 10.8 11.7 11.6 8.6 8.8 -29.0 27.2 5.6
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