Dutch industry plummets through deep dip in second quarter

Dutch industry went through a deep dip in the second quarter because of the corona crisis. On average, there was a sixth reduction in turnover compared to 2019, CBS concludes on the basis of new figures for the industry.

In April and May the decline was great. “In April, the Dutch industry suffered a huge blow,” says Albert Jan Swart, sector economist for Industry, Transport and Logistics at ABN Amro. “May was also a very bad month. In June things went slightly better thanks to the end of lockdowns in many European countries.”

In particular, manufacturers in the transport sector saw their turnover plummet. Nearly 40 percent less turnover was generated compared to twelve months previously. The oil-related industry, such as refining and chemicals, also had a much smaller turnover than twelve months previously: more than 30 percent. In addition, the textile industry saw its turnover decrease by more than 27 percent relative to the same quarter in 2019

Tobacco just in the elevator

“The automotive industry has been hit very hard by a lack of spare parts and a large drop in demand for cars,” says economist Swart. “This is also affecting Dutch suppliers, for example in metalworking and chemistry.”

There were also sectors where more turnover was generated. Remarkable was the increase of more than ten percent among tobacco producers. Manufacturers of pharmaceutical products and machinery also generated a higher turnover.

In the short term, Swart expects only a limited upturn in the industry as a whole. “The Dutch industry is mainly dependent on investments, for example in machinery or aircraft. And these are under heavy pressure, both in the Netherlands and in most other countries.”