In the second quarter of 2023, business services in the Netherlands saw a significant revenue increase, rising by over 10 percent compared to the previous year. This growth, partly attributed to rising prices, was notably smaller than in last quarters. Over 2022, the industry had experienced an average revenue growth of 17.4 percent, as per new data from the Central Bureau of Statistics (CBS).
Twelfth consecutive quarter
Except for architectural firms, all sectors within the business services they have displayed revenue growth. IT service providers recorded a 9 percent revenue increase, marking the twelfth consecutive quarter of growth, with only a decline in the second quarter of 2020 breaking the streak. The last decrease before that was in the third quarter of 2013.
Revenue growth in legal services lagged slightly, at 2.7 percent, compared to other sectors. In administrative services, including accounting, tax advice, and administration, revenue increased by 6.8 percent.
Firms in the business services sector were pessimistic about future revenue prospects. At the beginning of the third quarter, a net 3.9 percent of entrepreneurs anticipated a decrease in revenue, while 13.4 percent expected an increase in the workforce. Furthermore, 57.7 percent of entrepreneurs reported being hindered by a labour shortage.
Temporary employment sector
The temporary employment sector achieved a 6.7 percent increase in revenue compared to the second quarter of 2022. However, growth has gradually decreased in the last five quarters despite nine consecutive quarters of overall growth.
The business confidence of service providers declined to -3.9 at the start of the third quarter of 2023, down from -0.5 at the beginning of the second quarter.
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