The business sentiment survey for commercial services

Statistics Netherlands has conducted a quarterly business sentiment survey among companies providing business services since 1992. In January 2007, this was replaced by a monthly business sentiment survey among companies providing commercial services. This new business sentiment survey is conducted in the framework of the Joint Harmonised EU programme of Business and Consumer Surveys coordinated by the European Commission. Statistics Netherlands’ business sentiment survey of the manufacturing industry and its consumer confidence survey also fall within this programme. 

Main changes

  1. The survey has been held monthly instead of quarterly since January 2007. As a consequence the questions in the survey have been adjusted: they now refer to the preceding month instead of the preceding quarter, and to the next three months instead of the next quarter.
  2.  The number of sectors included in the survey has been expanded. The original survey for business services covered SBI classes 71 (lease and rental of transport equipment, machine, tools and other movables), 72 (companies providing computer services and IT) and 74 (other business services). The business sentiment survey for commercial services also includes SBI 55 (hotels and restaurants, etc.), SBI 60-62 (transport sector), SBI 633 (travel organisations and agencies) and SBI 90 (environmental services).

Brief description of the survey

The business sentiment survey for commercial services is conducted among some 1,450 companies in the commercial services sector. The purpose of the survey is quick collection  of up-to-date information on economic developments in the various industry classes, and in the commercial services sector as a whole. 

To this end, every month companies are asked about changes in realisation (e.g. turnover, orders, prices, staff levels); in opinions on orders received and on the economic climate; and in their expectations for the coming period  (turnover, orders, prices, staff levels). The results are expressed as positive (higher, improved, better) answers minus negative (lower, deteriorated, worse) answers.

Publications on Statistics Netherlands’ website

The results of the present business sentiment survey among business services are published in two tables in the online databank StatLine. These two tables have been combined into one new table:  business sentiment in commercial services. In addition to a new lay-out more series will be included, both at branch level; and as total and intermediate aggregates. The table will be updated monthly with new figures.  

In the economic monitor the quarterly business sentiment survey for business services will be continued on a monthly basis. Furthermore, the contribution to the business services monitor will be continued. In the future reports will also be included on the hotel and restaurant sector and the transport sector.