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Dutch manufacturing is in a downward spiral, with a significant decline of 9.4 per cent compared to last year. This marks the third consecutive quarter of contraction in industrial turnover, according to data from the Central Bureau of Statistics (CBS).

The figures are from the fourth quarter of 2023. Dutch manufacturing is facing a challenge. While some sectors such as electronics, machinery, wood and building materials, food and transport report higher sales prices, the general trend is a deterioration in profitability. The chemical industry in particular, hit by high energy prices and a difficult competitive position in the global market, is struggling. For the year as a whole, sales declined by 5.6 per cent.


The decrease in bankruptcies in the fourth quarter gives hope. With 54 bankruptcies, there is a slight improvement compared to the previous year. Another positive is that, despite the hard numbers, there are entrepreneurs who remain cautiously optimistic. Just under 4.3 per cent expect an increase in turnover in the first quarter of 2024.