Netherlands: Business confidence falls to over five-year low in March
Business sentiment among Dutch manufacturers dropped steeply from 3.7 in February to 0.2 in March, marking the lowest point since September 2014. Moreover, the print came in below the long-term average of 0.9 over the past 20 years and barely remained above the neutral zero-threshold that separates optimism from pessimism. Confidence is likely to drop further in the months ahead as the vast majority of respondents answered the questionnaire prior to the partial lockdown entering into force.
The drop in confidence levels reflected deteriorating business expectations for the next three months, likely linked to lockdowns across the globe in response to the Covid-19 pandemic and this will weigh on demand levels. Views on finished stocks of goods also became more negative.