Dutch businesses more positive about employment in 2016

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Dutch businesses have a positive outlook for 2016. For the first time in five years, more companies are expecting employment to increase rather than foreseeing reductions. In addition, they expect more turnover, investments and exports for next year. Business confidence is also positive in the fourth quarter, in spite of a slight decline. This was announced in a joint statement by Statistics Netherlands, the Economic Institute for the Building Industry (EIB), the Dutch Chamber of Commerce (KvK), the national entrepreneurs’ association for SMEs MKB-Nederland and the Confederation of Netherlands Industries and Employers VNO-NCW.

More staff hired in 2016

Dutch companies have a more positive outlook on employment for next year than they did in recent years. For the first time in five years, those expecting employee numbers to grow form a higher percentage (18 percent) than those expecting a decrease (13 percent). Companies most inclined to foresee an increase in personnel for 2016 include those in wholesale, business services and information and communication.

On balance, companies in all sectors of the Dutch industry expect their turnover to increase in 2016. According to 37 percent, turnover will exceed that of 2015. Only 9 percent are expecting a lower turnover, which means on balance that 28 percent of the business sector expect turnover to grow. Just as in previous years, turnover growth abroad is expected to increase and, similar to 2015, they expect larger investments.

Business outlook for the coming year

Slight decline in business confidence

Optimism prevailed not only with respect to 2016, the mood was positive as well at the beginning of the fourth quarter, although slightly less so than at the beginning of the previous quarter. The confidence indicator has been positive for two consecutive years now.

Business confidence in the Netherlands, total non-financial businesses

Business confidence positive in all sectors

Business confidence was positive in all sectors of industry at the beginning of the fourth quarter, although slightly less so than in the previous quarter in more than half of the sectors. The most significant decrease in business confidence was in the construction sector following a very favourable third quarter. This was caused by lower output, a weaker order position and less positive expectations about staffing levels.

The mood improved in the car industry, the hotel and restaurant sector and the sector information and communication. In the car industry, this was mainly due to positive turnover forecasts. In the hotel and restaurant business, turnover and a more favourable economic climate contributed to the improvement. In the sector information and communication, increased business confidence was due mainly to the turnover growth in the previous quarter. Confidence in the wholesale sector remained unchanged.

Business confidence by sector