Positive mood in private sector continues

At the start of the fourth quarter, Dutch entrepreneurs are consistently upbeat. The business confidence indicator - which indicates the mood in the Dutch private sector - stood at 9.2. This is not only 1.3 points higher than in the third quarter but also well above the average level (-2.0) since measurements started in 2008. Business confidence is reported by Statistics Netherlands (CBS), the Dutch Chamber of Commerce, the Economic Institute for Construction and Housing (EIB), the Dutch Organisation for Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises (MKB-Nederland) and the Dutch Employers’ Organisation (VNO-NCW). The latest reading took place in October 2016.
Business confidence in the non-financial private sector has been consistently high since early 2014. Optimism prevails in nearly all sectors of trade. The construction sector is currently the sector where confidence is highest. The indicator has risen from 16.6 in the third quarter to 28.7. The mood is also above average in wholesale trade (where confidence has reached 18.7) and the hotel and restaurant sector (9.0). The only sector where the mood is negative is the mining and quarrying sector (-32.6).
Business confidence in the Netherlands, total non-financial private sector

Positive expectations for 2017

For next year, the Dutch private sector is expecting higher turnover, higher investments and employment growth. On balance, almost 30 percent of Dutch entrepreneurs expect turnover to be higher than this year, with projections for export turnover are also favourable.

Internal business developments are also expected to be positive. On balance, 11 percent of entrepreneurs expect to increase their workforce in 2017. The highest staff increase on balance is expected by business owners in the construction sector: 29 percent. In wholesale trade and the information and communication sector, 17 percent of entrepreneurs are looking to add manpower.

In 2017 investment expenditures will go up according to 8 percent of entrepreneurs on balance. The largest share of entrepreneurs with a positive investment outlook is in the real estate sector, 18 percent on balance. The share of optimistic business owners is also above average in the sectors construction and transportation and storage.
Dutch entrepreneurs\' expectations for 2017
Dutch entrepreneurs' expectations for 2017
 Staff numbersInvestments
Total private sector10.57.9
Real estate activities0.518.4
Transportation and storage-1.413.9
Retail trade9.711.8
Wholesale trade17.15.7
Car trade44.2
Hotels and restaurants7.24
Business services12.72.4

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