Exports down by over 2 percent in December

© Hollandse Hoogte / David Rozing
As reported by Statistics Netherlands (CBS), the total volume of goods exports shrank by 2.2 percent in December 2018 relative to one year previously. The year-on-year decrease was larger than in November. The strongest declines in December were seen in the export of electro-technical equipment and chemical products. On the other hand, exports of machinery and petroleum products increased. The volume of imports was 1.7 percent higher than in December 2017.

Overall growth in both imports and exports is affected negatively by a large company which relocated part of its business activities to another country as of October 2018. Furthermore, both 24 and 31 December fell on a Monday in 2018. In accordance with European regulations, the results have not been adjusted for these optional bridging days.

The CBS Exports Radar indicates that circumstances for exports in February are less favourable than in December.

Exports of goods (volume, adjusted for working days) (year-on-year % change)
 %- change
2015 January7
2015 February4.6
2015 March3.5
2015 April5.5
2015 May5.8
2015 June4.9
2015 July5.3
2015 August6.6
2015 September3.5
2015 October5.6
2015 November4.4
2015 December4
2016 January4.3
2016 February3.5
2016 March3.7
2016 April5.5
2016 May6.4
2016 June2.4
2016 July2.9
2016 August3
2016 September5.8
2016 October3.2
2016 November6.2
2016 December5.1
2017 January1.2
2017 February6.3
2017 March7.9
2017 April0.6
2017 May4.6
2017 June10.6
2017 July7.1
2017 August7.2
2017 September7.8
2017 October7.1
2017 November7
2017 December6.1
2018 January5.1
2018 February3
2018 March2.4
2018 April6.7
2018 May4.5
2018 June-0.4
2018 July2.4
2018 August2.6
2018 September2
2018 October2.3
2018 November-0.8
2018 December-2.2

Conditions for exports in February less favourable than in December

Every month, CBS also publishes updates on the circumstances for exports in the Exports Radar. Conditions are strongly affected by recent developments on the main export markets for Dutch products and by the competitive position of the Netherlands. Although the Radar indicators show a strong correlation with export activity, improved circumstances are not necessarily translated into increased export growth.

According to the CBS Exports Radar, circumstances for Dutch exports in February are less favourable than in December. This is mainly due to a deterioration in the year-on-year development of manufacturing output in Germany. In addition, producer confidence in Germany and in the eurozone as a whole was less positive.

Goods exports account for approximately three-quarters of total exports. As for data on exports of services, these are not published monthly. Data on total exports are published quarterly and annually. Figures published in this news release are provisional and subject to revision.

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