In the first months of 2009, the exports volume of Dutch manufacturing industry slumped by nearly 20 percent. Subsequently, the decline gradually slowed down. In September, the volume of exports was 11 percent down on one year previously. This is partly due to a considerable increase in the number of orders received form abroad. Manufacturers’ opinions on their foreign order position showed a similar pattern. In March 2009, manufacturers were very gloomy about their order positions on the foreign market, but in the following months they became more optimistic, at first slowly, but in recent months the mood among manufacturers improved substantially. In October, producers expecting exports to increase in the next quarter for the first time in twelve months outnumbered those anticipating a downturn. This is an indication for a more solid recovery of the volume of exports. The crisis appears to subside in the third quarter of 2009 relative to the preceding two quarters, due to the fact that exports declined at a slower rate. Exports are of paramount importance to Dutch manufacturing industry.
Export volume and opinions on order position Dutch manufacturers