According to the latest figures by Statistics Netherlands, Dutch entrepreneurs in the manufacturing industry expect to invest 5 percent more this year than they invested in 2001.
In spring the expected growth rate was 21 percent, so expectations for 2002 were adjusted downward considerably. The entrepreneurs expect a 6 percent growth rate for 2003, which would mainly be due to the postponement of investment from 2002 to 2003.
Investments were postponed in virtually all branches of the manufacturing industry. Many entrepreneurs indicated, both in the fall of 2001 and in the spring of 2002, that the investments planned for 2001 would not be made before 2002. A recent study conducted this fall by Statistics Netherlands about expected investments shows that the investments planned for this year are postponed to 2003 or even 2004. This means that investments both in 2001 and in 2002 are substantially lower than initially expected. Many entrepreneurs are postponing their investments until the economy picks up.
Cancellations in the metal industry and other industries
Both in the metal and electro technical industry and in the other industries investments are not only postponed, they are cancelled. The expectations for 2002 and 2003 are adjusted downward. The smaller companies are the ones to cancel, whereas large companies are postponing for the time being.
Public utility sector and mining are the exceptions
Entrepreneurs in mining and public utilities are reporting staggering growth rates both for 2002 and for 2003, varying between 19 and 40 percent. Both groups of entrepreneurs invested relatively little in 2000 and 2001. The same is true for the growth rates in the chemical and oil processing industries, which also invested substantially less in 2001 than in previous years.