Economic impact of COVID-19

When are recent economic figures expected?

The COVID-19 crisis has a major impact on both individual citizens and businesses in the Netherlands. It is too early to provide an analysis of the effects of the coronavirus outbreak on the Dutch economy. However, it is clear that various sectors will be affected. Read more

How is the Dutch economy developing?

According to the first estimate conducted by Statistics Netherlands (CBS), which is based on currently available data, gross domestic product (GDP) declined by 1.7 percent in Q1 2020 relative to Q4 2019. This is the biggest contraction after Q1 2009, when GDP collapsed by 3.6 percent on the previous quarter. The fall in GDP over Q1 is mainly attributable to declining household consumption. Read more

How is household consumption developing?

Consumers spent 6.7 percent less in March 2020 than one year previously. This is the sharpest contraction in domestic household consumption CBS has ever recorded. Consumers mainly spent less on services and durable goods. On the other hand, spending on food, beverages and tobacco showed an unprecedented rise. Read more

How many companies have been declared bankrupt over the past few weeks?

In week 19 (working week 4 to 8 May inclusive), 46 companies and institutions (excluding sole proprietorships) and 9 sole proprietorships were declared bankrupt. Read more

Is the number of bankruptcies higher than last year?

During the first 19 weeks of 2020, 1,396 companies and institutions (including sole proprietorships) were declared bankrupt. This is 15 more than in the same period last year.

How many benefits were granted to self-employed by municipalities as part of the Temporary bridging measure for self-employed professionals (Tozo)?

In March, municipalities provided around 7,000 benefits to self-employed to cover living expenses. These were mainly benefits in the framework of the new Tozo measure. They have partly been registered under the general Social Assistance (Self-employed Persons) Decree (Bbz) as a result of rapid implementation of the measure. The April figure will undoubtedly turn out higher. According to estimates by the Ministry of Social Affairs and Employment, approximately 343,000 applications were submitted up to and including 29 April.

How are consumer prices developing?

The consumer price index (CPI) was 1.2 percent higher in April than in the same month last year. In March, prices of consumer goods and services were up by 1.4 percent year-on-year. The lower increase is mainly due to the price development of petrol. In April, motor fuels were 13.4 percent cheaper than in the same month last year, against a year-on-year decline of 4.1 percent in March. Read more

How much did the export value of horticultural products decline?

In March 2020, the export value of horticultural products such as flowers, plants, bulbs and nursery products declined by 22 percent year-on-year. Exports of cut flowers dropped by 26 percent. The largest decline was seen in horticultural exports to Italy: 61 percent. Read more

How many entrepreneurs expect they will not survive the COVID-19 crisis?

Nearly half of all entrepreneurs in the non-financial private sector foresee problems in their business continuity if the crisis lasts more than six months. If the crisis should last longer than twelve months, 60 percent foresee bankruptcy of their company in its present form. Over 22 percent of the smaller companies (5 to 20 employees) foresee bankruptcy if the crisis lasts longer than two months. Read more

By how much did manufacturing output decline?

In March 2020, the average daily output generated by the Dutch manufacturing industry was 2.5 percent down on March 2019. Output showed a year-on-year decrease of 1.3 percent in February. The transport equipment industry reported the largest year-on-year decrease. A number of companies in this industry completely shut down their factories on 19 March. Read more

How large is the agricultural sector?

According to the Dutch Standard Industrial Classification 2008 (SBI 2008), the agricultural sector in the Netherlands comprised 73,465 holdings in Q1 2020. According to the Agricultural Census statistic, the number stood at 53,233 (2019). SBI 2008 and the Agricultural Census apply different definitions of the agricultural sector, which leads to a discrepancy in number of enterprises.

How much decline has been recorded in the consumption of petrol, diesel and kerosene?

In March 2020, sales of petroleum products such as petrol, diesel and fuel oil as well as the consumption of kerosene were 13 percent down on January 2020. The year-on-year decline amounted to 12 percent. The drop in petrol sales over March – by over 20 percent – is the sharpest drop since January. Read more

How much decline has been recorded in manufacturing output prices?

Output prices of Dutch-manufactured products in March 2020 were 3.8 percent down year-on-year. Prices were still 0.9 percent up year-on-year in February. The sharpest decline was in prices of petroleum derivatives: in March 2020, these were 41.5 percent cheaper than one year previously. Read more

How is retail turnover developing?

The Dutch retail sector achieved 3.5 percent year-on-year turnover growth in March 2020. Shops selling food, beverages and tobacco achieved 12.2 percent more turnover than in the same month last year. Turnover in the non-food sector was down by 8 percent year-on-year. Clothes shops and shops selling footwear and leather products saw the largest turnover decline since 2005. Online sales increased by 28.8 percent. Read more

How is producer confidence developing?

In April, producer confidence plummeted to its lowest level since the start of the producer confidence survey in 1985. Confidence stood at -28.7, down from 0.2 in March. This was by far the largest decline ever measured. Read more

How is consumer confidence developing?

In April, the consumer confidence indicator stood at -22, down from -2 in March. This was the largest decline ever measured, but not an all-time low. Both opinions on the economic climate and consumers’ willingness to buy deteriorated significantly. Read more

How many overnight accommodations are currently closed?

Due to the COVID-19 measures, approximately one-third of available beds in overnight accommodations are currently closed. The policy with regard to the closure of overnight accommodations is determined per safety region.

How many men and women are working in affected sectors?

In December 2019, altogether 1.1 men as well as 1.1 million women were working in sectors which qualify for government support in accordance with the so-called TOGS measure (reimbursement for entrepreneurs in affected sectors).

What is the size of the financial buffer for most self-employed entrepreneurs?

In 2019, 20 percent of Dutch self-employed entrepreneurs said they would be able to make ends meet for an estimated three months in the absence of revenues from their own company. Nearly 40 percent said they could probably survive for 12 months or more. Self-employed active in transportation and logistics were most likely to indicate a maximum length of time of 3 months without company revenue (30 percent).

How is the labour participation rate developing at the moment?

In March 2020, the share of people in paid employment among the population aged 15 to 74 years fell to 69.1 percent. This is the sharpest drop over a period of six years. Labour participation still peaked in January and February at 69.3 percent. Despite the drop in March, the number of people in employment still rose further over the past three months, namely by 4 thousand on average. Read more

How many job losses were recorded in March?

In March 2020, there were 283 thousand unemployed people who were still in paid work three months previously (December 2019). There were fewer job losses in January and February (259 thousand people). The increase in job losses was mainly due to a rising number of employed who left the labour force. They were not seeking and/or immediately available for work in the short term. Read more

How many people were unemployed in March 2020?

In March 2020, there were 273 registered unemployed, equivalent to 2.9 percent of the Dutch labour force. The unemployment rate was the same in February; this rate refers to people in the age group 15 to 74 years who are not in paid work, but have been looking and immediately available for work recently. Relatively many people in paid work stopped working in March, but were not looking and/or immediately available again; the unemployment rate remained unchanged as a result. Read more

How many more unemployment (WW) benefits?

At the end of March, UWV recorded 250 thousand current WW benefits. This is 10 thousand more than in February (+4.3 percent). Year-on-year, the number of WW benefits was down by 6.5 percent. UWV provided 38 thousand new WW benefits. This is 11 thousand more than in February, i.e. an increase of 42.3 percent. The number of new WW benefits rose substantially among young people (under the age of 25) in particular (+185 percent). Read more

Which sector recorded the largest increase in number of unemployment (WW) benefits?

In March, the majority of sectors recorded an increase in new WW benefits compared to February. An above-average increase was seen in accommodation and food services (+224 percent), temporary employment (+143 percent) and culture (+94 percent). The accommodation and food services sector and culture sector are severely affected by the measures taken by government against the spread of coronavirus. Read more

How many seasonal workers are employed in the agricultural sector?

In 2019, there were nearly 30 thousand full-time jobs on the basis of fixed-term contracts for specific or occasional work. In many cases, this was seasonal work. The total volume of labour deployed in the Dutch agricultural sector was equivalent to over 156 thousand full-time jobs (FTEs). Read more

Which agricultural sector employs the highest number of seasonal workers?

The majority of the non-regular labour force - often seasonal workers - were active in horticulture. Within the horticultural sector, the seasonal workforce was largest at greenhouse vegetable farms. This workforce was larger than the number of regularly employed workers. Nearly 60 percent of the labour input consisted of seasonal workers. These include students who help pick tomatoes, cucumbers or peppers, but also temporary migrant workers. Read more

How many precarious workers are there in the Netherlands?

In 2019, 72.3 percent of all flex workers had less secure employment, equivalent to 1,391 thousand flex workers. These are employees with short-term temporary contracts, temporary agency contracts, on-call contracts or variable hours, who are at greater risk of losing their jobs and income when the business where they work is in worse shape than other temporary workers.

How many key workers are there in the Netherlands?

In Q4 2019, an estimated 3.1 million people in the employed labour force of 9.0 million were working in vital occupations. The majority of key workers are found in the care and welfare sector (1.3 million). Another 460 thousand worked in education or childcare. Read more

How many key workers have young children?

One-quarter of the 3.1 million key workers had children under the age of 12 in Q4 2019. This group comprises 11 percent (340 thousand persons) with children under the age of 4. Read more

How many people usually work from home?

In 2019, there were 3.5 million people in paid employment who (usually or incidentally) worked from home. They represent 39 percent of the active labour force. Of these (incidental) home-based workers, approximately 1.3 million usually worked from home, while 2.4 million did so incidentally.

Which business sectors tend to have many home-based workers?

There are five sectors with a share of (incidental) home-based workers that exceeds 60 percent: information and communication, education, financial services, specialised business services, and energy.

Which occupations have the most home-based workers?

The share of home-based workers is largest in occupations such as government official, ICT manager and policy advisor. At least 87 percent were working from home (occasionally) in these occupations. The majority of home-based workers did this on an occasional basis.

How many residents of Belgium and Germany are employed in the Netherlands?

In 2017, altogether nearly 80 thousand residents of Germany and Belgium were employed in the Netherlands. This number includes almost 39 thousand from Belgium and 40 thousand from Germany. Most of them are Dutch people who moved across the border but retained their work in the Netherlands. Read more

How many Dutch residents work in Belgium or Germany?

In 2017, altogether over 22 thousand Dutch residents were employed in either Belgium or Germany. These include almost 13 thousand people working in Belgium and 9.5 thousand working in Germany. Read more

How much increase is seen in the retail turnover at Dutch supermarkets?

In the second and third weeks of March, Dutch supermarkets achieved higher turnover than in the same weeks last year. Turnover at supermarkets declined in the third week of March compared to the previous week, but was still 25 percent higher than in the same week in 2019. The sharpest increase was seen in turnover of shelf-stable products, including canned goods, frozen vegetables, flour, rice and pasta, along with hand soap, toilet paper and pharmaceutical products.

How much turnover increase is being recorded by DIY retailers?

DIY chains recorded over 50 percent more turnover during the third week of March relative to one year previously. Turnover was nearly 6 percent higher than the week of Ascension Day last year, which is traditionally the week with the highest turnover.

How many beauty salons and hairdresser salons are there in the Netherlands?

There are a total of 27,675 hairdressers and 36,585 salons performing beauty and cosmetic treatments, pedicures and manicures.

How large is the sector accommodation and food services?

In Q1 2020, the sector accommodation and food services comprised 61,775 businesses. The majority (61,715 businesses) were small and medium-sized enterprises (mkb). 52,295 businesses in accommodation and food services included food and beverage services. In 2017, net sales in the Dutch accommodation and food sector amounted to 26,213 million euros.

How many people work in culture, sports and recreation?

In 2018, 174 thousand people were working in the culture, sports and recreation sector. This is 1.9 percent of the employed persons in all economic activities.

How many sports organisations and companies are there?

In 2018, there were 26,510 sports clubs, 1,145 water sports clubs, 1,090 riding schools and 1,250 gyms in the Netherlands. In addition, there were 1,570 fitness companies with a total of 2,015 establishments in 2017. This includes all sports organisations, whether for profit or not.

What are the main imports from China for the Netherlands?

By far the largest import from China are high-tech products, with a total import value of 15.2 billion euros in 2019. This is followed by machinery and machinery components (9.9 billion euros). Read more

How is trade with China developing?

In March 2020, goods imports from China and Hong Kong showed a year-on-year decline of 9 percent. The imports already fell by 10 percent over the previous month. Over the months of February and March this year, imports from China and Hong Kong dropped by altogether 700 million euros relative to February-March 2019. Read more

How is Dutch goods trade developing?

In March 2020, the total volume of goods exports shrank by 4.0 percent year-on-year. This is the first contraction in exports since June 2019. In March 2020, exports of transporting equipment and machinery decreased in particular. However, exports of petroleum and chemical products increased year-on-year. The volume of imports was 3.7 percent lower than in March 2019. In March 2020, imports of minerals, transport equipment and clothing were down in particular. Read more

How much is imported into the Netherlands from Italy?

Dutch imports from Italy amount to 11.9 billion euros. This was 2.6 percent of total goods imports in 2019. Read more