Business confidence

What does the survey comprise?


Business confidence indicates to what extent the mood among entrepreneurs in the Dutch private sector is positive or negative. In addition, it indicates the direction in which the Dutch economy (the gross domestic product) is expected to develop.

Target population

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

Statistical unit

Business establishments

Start of survey

4th quarter of 2008



Publication strategy

The results are published in a StatLine table via the website of Statistics Netherlands. In addition to the indicator for the Dutch private sector as a whole, mood indicators are also being compiled for most underlying sectors of business.

How is the survey conducted?

Type of survey

The information used for Business confidence comes from the Business Survey Netherlands (COEN). The balances of three indicators per industry are corrected for seasonal influences and in construction and manufacturing industry for a structural bias. After correction, the balances are averaged in order to calculate business confidence for that industry. The business confidence of the industries is weighted on average to calculate business confidence for the entire non-financial business community.

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, of which at least 5,500 are completed. 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.


When calculating the results, account is taken of the share that an industry has in the added value of the Dutch private sector.

What is the quality of the results?

Data accuracy

During the survey, data are collected with respect to anticipated turnover, price and employment developments. Expectations received earlier are systematically analysed and compared to actual developments collected on the basis of other surveys. The results relate to expectations of entrepreneurs that correlate to a large extent with the data on GDP development available at a later stage.

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.