Investments down after eight months of growth

The volume of investments in tangible fixed assets was 4.3 percent down in June 2014 from June 2013. According to Statistics Netherlands, investments in residential and non-residential property and infrastructural projects declined considerably, but investments in cars and computers were still growing in June. 

Prior to the downturn in June, investments had grown for eight months in a row. Private and public sector investments grew by 5.6 and 0.8 percent respectively in April and May. As Statistics Netherlands reported last week, the investment growth rate slowed down in the second quarter of 2014. Currently, investments are approximately 20 percent below the pre-crisis level in the second quarter of 2008.

Investments in tangible fixed assets (volume)

Investments in tangible fixed assets (volume)

Investments consistent with developments in the construction sector

In June, output levels in the construction sector were down from twelve months previously for the second consecutive month. Last Monday, Statistics Netherlands already published about the downturn in the construction sector in the second quarter. Due to the mild weather conditions in the first quarter of 2014, construction activities were not disrupted. As order books in the construction sector were not completely filled, the effects became all too obvious in the second quarter.

Nevertheless, there are some signs of improvement. Building sums of new assignments for architects have been growing since the autumn of 2013. The value of building permits is also increasing and the number of houses sold in 2014 so far has grown significantly.

Investment climate improves in August

According to August’s Investment Radar, the investment climate in the Netherlands has improved marginally. This is mainly due to exports. Exports grew again in June, after a slump in May. On the basis of six indicators, the Investment Radar shows whether circumstances for Dutch private sector investments have improved or deteriorated.

More figures can be found on the theme page Business cycle.

For more information on economic indicators, see the Economic Monitor.