Growth investments slows down

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© Peter Hilz
Statistics Netherlands (CBS) reports that the volume of investments in tangible fixed assets grew by 4.2 percent in January 2015 on an annual basis. The increase is far less substantial than in the preceding two months. This is mainly due to the boost in car sales in the last months of 2015, which was discontinued in January 2016. According to Statistics Netherlands’ Investment Radar, the investment climate in the Netherlands is slightly less positive in March than in January.

Investment data are not adjusted for calendar effects. January 2016 had one working day less than January 2015.

Investments up in residential property, but down in infrastructural projects and passenger cars

Investments in residential property were again higher in January than one year previously again. Investments in road transport vehicles, e.g. lorries and delivery vans were also up. Investments in infra-structural projects and machinery, on the other hand, declined.

Investments in passenger cars also dropped. In the last months of 2015, many companies bought cars, because additional tax rates and the tax on new passenger cars and motorcycles (BPM) were raised on 1 January 2016. This made many companies decide to buy new cars prior to 1 January. The figures do not provide unambiguous information about the extent to which changing tax laws gave rise to the increase in car sales.

Investment climate less favourable in March

According to the Statistics Netherlands’ Investment Radar, the investment climate in the Netherlands in March is less favourable than in January, but slightly more favourable than in February. Factors relevant to a favourable investment climate are the situation on the sales markets and the financial markets. In January the Investment Radar showed that the year-on-year growth of Dutch share prices was positive in January, but negative in March. Consumer confidence and the capacity utilisation rate in manufacturing industry deteriorated, but in March the Investment Radar shows that the growth of exports on an annual basis improved relative to January.

The numbers in this publication are provisional and can be adjusted.