In 2019 Dutch export performance is impacted by lower demand from France and Germany, the ongoing Brexit issue and increased global trade uncertainty.
Insolvency improvement trend expected to reverse in 2018
With the economic rebound since 2014, business failures started to decrease annually, declining 8.6% to 4,223 cases in 2018 (including sole proprietorships). However, lower exports and increased economic uncertainty will weigh on GDP growth in 2019, with businesses failures expected to increase 3%.
Slowdown of growth in 2019 due to reduced exports and investments
The economic expansion is expected to slow in 2019 after solid performance in 2017 and 2018. While domestic demand remains robust, both exports and investment growth are forecast to decline.
Exports are impacted by lower demand from France and Germany (which together account for more than 30% of Dutch exports) and increased global trade uncertainty. Trade and investment ties with the UK are very close, and the sectors that could see the biggest impact by Brexit are transport equipment, chemicals, electronics, and food.
That said, in 2019 private consumption continues to benefit from decreasing unemployment and higher disposable household income. However, a potential downside risk would be another deterioration in house prices, given the high level of mortgage debt and banks’ exposure to the housing market. Any major downward correction in the property market would negatively affect household consumption and the stability of the finance sector.