Business services providers remain low-spirited

In July, providers of business services were still pessimistic. On balance, 25 percent of them expect to generate a lower turnover in the next three months. Although the figure was slightly less negative than in June, the number of business service providers expecting future turnover to slump still clearly outnumbered those expecting an increase. In July, on balance, 29 percent of business service providers indicated that turnover had declined in the past three months.

Business service providers were extremely negative about employment in their branch in July. On balance, about 38 percent of them expected to have to cut back on staff in the next three months. This is the worst result since Statistics Netherlands started monitoring these data on a regular basis in the 1990s; 44 percent reported staff cuts over the past three months. This is also the lowest score ever.

The mood about the economic climate over the past three months was far more negative in July than in June after improvements in the two preceding months. Architectural firms and cleaning service agencies in particular were more negative in July about the economic climate.

The proportion of business services providers feeling hampered in their activities because of insufficient demand increased further from 38 percent in April to 47 percent in July; 9 percent felt hampered by financial restrictions and 6 percent indicated that staff shortage constituted an obstacle to their activities. These percentages were virtually the same as in April. The percentage of business service providers not experiencing any obstacles dropped from 38 in April to 31 in July this year.

Expected turnover business services

Expected turnover business services