Private sector optimistic; employment expected to grow

At the beginning of Q2, the mood across the Dutch private sector remains largely positive. In various sectors, like information and communication and the sector hotels and restaurants, confidence improved, whereas in other sectors, like retail trade, confidence weakened. Statistics Netherlands (CBS), the Dutch Chamber of Commerce (KvK), the Dutch Economic Institute for the Building Industry (EIB), the Dutch Association for SMEs (MKB-Nederland) and the Confederation of Netherlands Industry and Employers (VNO-NCW) report that most businesses anticipate employment growth.
At the beginning of Q2, business confidence approached 9, almost the same as in the past quarter. During the last two and a half years the business confidence indicator has been positive. With 10.1, the highest level was reached in 2011. Subsequently, confidence declined and turned negative. Since mid-2015, the indicator has been just under the previous highest level. The positive indicator is consistent with the sustained economic growth in the Netherlands.
Business confidence Netherlands, total non-financial private sector

ICT and hotels and restaurants more positive, retail trade more negative

Business confidence grew most rapidly in the sector information and communication, from 9 to 15. In the sector hotels and restaurants the mood also improved. Earlier, CBS reported that confidence in manufacturing industry had reached the highest level (5) in nearly eight years. Just as in the preceding four quarters, the highest confidence level (19) was reached in wholesale trade.
Business confidence declined marginally in other sectors of industry, but remains positive except in mining and car dealing. Confidence fell in the retail sector where expectations with respect to future turnover results were less positive.
Business confidence by sector
Business confidence by sector
 Q1 2016Q2 2016
Total private sector8.8
Wholesale trade19.2
Information and communication15.3
Hotels and restaurants13.4
Business services12.5
Manufacturing industry4.7
Rental and trade immovable property3.3
Retail trade3.2
Transport and storage2.5
Car dealers and car repairs-0.9

Employment expected to grow

Confidence has been high for quite some time now. The private sector is also positive about employment prospects. Business confidence has not been this high since the survey was started in 2008.
In mining, manufacturing industry and personal services, more businesses anticipate a decrease in the workforce than an increase, but the gap is closing. In all other sectors, the reverse situation applies.

Anticipated staff

Business confidence indicates the mood in the Dutch private sector. It is calculated based on a survey of recent developments and expectations within companies in each industry sector. Subsequently, business confidence for the Netherlands is compiled from a weighted average in confidence per sector. Business confidence provides an indication of the direction in which the Dutch economy is expected to develop.


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