Exports up by nearly 2 percent in March

As reported by Statistics Netherlands (CBS), the total volume of goods exports grew by 1.6 percent in March year-on-year. Growth was higher than in the previous four months. In March 2019, exports of petroleum products and machinery increased in particular. On the other hand, exports of electro-technical equipment and transport equipment were down. The volume of imports was 5.6 percent higher than in March 2018.

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.

The CBS Exports Radar indicates that circumstances for exports in May are less favourable than in March.

Exports of goods (volume, adjusted for working days) (year-on-year %-change)
Year Month%-change
2015April5.5
May5.8
June4.9
July5.3
August6.6
September3.5
October5.6
November4.4
December4
2016January4.3
February3.5
March3.7
April5.5
May6.4
June2.4
July2.9
August3
September5.8
October3.2
November6.2
December5.1
2017January1.2
February6.3
March7.9
April0.6
May4.6
June10.6
July7.1
August7.2
September7.8
October7.1
November7
December6.1
2018January4.3
February3.8
March2.5
April6.2
May3.9
June-0.1
July2.5
August2.7
September1.9
October2
November-0.3
December-0.8
2019January1.1
February0.8
March1.6

Conditions for exports in May less favourable than in March

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 May are less favourable than in March, mainly due to a decline in confidence levels among manufacturers in Germany and the eurozone. On the other hand, the year-on-year development of the German manufacturing output was less negative.
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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