Business confidence

What does the survey comprise?


The Business confidence indicates to what extent the mood among entrepreneurs in the Dutch private sector is positive or negative with regard to the commercial situation, including the economic climate.

Target population

Total private sector with the exception of financial companies and utilities.

Statistical unit

Business establishments

Start of survey

January 2012


Monthly, excluding aggregates (quarterly):

  • All enterprises (no finance or energy)
  • A Agriculture, forestry and fishing- B Mining and quarrying
  • F Construction
  • 46 Wholesale trade (no motor vehicles)

Publication strategy

The results are published on the CBS website in two StatLine tables. In addition to the indicator for the Netherlands broken down by industry, the business confidence has also been compiled by region (provinces). A third variant of the business confidence is also available via MKB-StatLine, by company size (mkb). 

How is the survey conducted?

Type of survey

The information used for Business confidence comes from the Business Survey Netherlands (COEN). For each industry, the balances of the development and expectations of the economic climate are adjusted for seasonal effects. After correction, the balances are averaged to calculate business confidence for an industry and province. The business confidence of the sectors/provinces is weighted as an average to calculate the business confidence for the Netherlands as a whole.

Observation method

There is no separate observation for Business confidence; the results available in the Business Survey Netherlands (COEN) form the basis.


Business establishments.

Sample size

The sample of the source statistics: Statistics Netherlands sends about 7,500 surveys. In addition, several hundreds of surveys conducted by the Economic Institute for Construction (EIB) are used for data on the construction sector.

Checking and correction methods

The response provided by business establishments is evaluated on the basis of plausibility, completeness and consistency. In the case of non-response, the results are estimated. 


The results are weighted by the number of employees. 

What is the quality of the results?

Data accuracy

Margins are available for the results with a confidence level of 95%.

Sequential comparability

The method followed to process sample data aims to safeguard sequential comparability of the results. 

Quality strategy

Source statistics data are evaluated with respect to completeness, internal consistency and plausibility.