Faltering growth business confidence

  • Private sector confidence stalls
  • Confidence dips in construction sector and sector hotels and restaurants
  • Growing confidence in sectors trade and manufacturing industry

At the beginning of the third quarter, business confidence in the Netherlands is decreasing marginally, but - for the third quarter in a row - the mood remains positive. The confidence indicator stands at 3, i.e. 1 point below the level recorded in the second quarter. The small decline results from positive as well as negative developments. Confidence increased in the sectors trade and manufacturing industry, but decreased in the construction sector and the sector hotels and restaurants, as Statistics Netherlands (CBS), the Dutch Chamber of Commerce (KvK), the Dutch Employers’ Organisation (VNO-NCW), the Dutch Organisation for Small and Medium-sized Enterprises MKB) and the European Investment Bank (EIB) announced today.

Business confidence is a new indicator, based upon the Business cycle survey Netherlands. This mood indicator provides a quick indication of future economic developments in the Netherlands. 

Mood negative in construction sector, manufacturers optimistic

Business confidence in the construction sector declined somewhat at the beginning of the third quarter. The results achieved in the construction sector were less good in the second quarter, after two strong quarters in winter. Although the mood is negative, confidence is not as low as in the preceding three years.
The mood among manufacturers, on the other hand, was more positive. Statistics Netherlands reported earlier that producer confidence in manufacturing industry had reached the highest level in three years in the course second quarter.

Trade sector more positive

Optimism also prevails in the retail sector at the beginning of the third quarter. Confidence reached the highest level in nearly four years. After years of sustained decline, turnover generated by the retail sector started to grow during the first six months of 2014. Confidence also improved in the sector wholesale trade. This is consistent with the marginal growth of exports, higher investments and higher sales in the retail trade sector during the first six months.

Confidence in sector hotels and restaurants is ebbing away

Optimism in the sector hotels and restaurants has fallen considerably. Initial enthusiasm that prevailed in the strong first quarter has ebbed away, but the mood in the sector is still significantly more positive than in 2012 and 2013.