At the beginning of the second quarter of 2022, staff shortages were the biggest obstacle to entrepreneurs’ business operations. Barriers due to lack of means of production, materials and space also reached a record high.
Business confidence increased in the second quarter of 2022, especially for the hotel industry. In other industries, the increase was more moderate, or business confidence fell. This is reported by Statistics Denmark, KVK, the Department of Economics for Construction, MKB-Nederland and VNO-NCW on the basis of the Dutch business survey.
For the fourth quarter in a row, entrepreneurs indicated that they are most often hampered in their business operations by staff shortages. At the start of the second quarter, 34 percent of entrepreneurs reported this against 13 percent a year earlier. The lack of means of production, materials and space was a growing obstacle with a record rate of 19 percent. Also, fewer and fewer entrepreneurs indicated that they were not hindered in production and business activities at all.
With almost half of the entrepreneurs, business service providers, including temp agencies, again most often stated that staff shortages are the biggest obstacle. The proportion of retailers hampered in the business by staff shortages increased the most, about doubling to 39 per cent. Entrepreneurs in the field of mineral extraction rarely experienced staff shortages. Lack of means of production was most often mentioned as an obstacle by car dealers (36 percent). For the retail sector, this share has more than doubled compared to the beginning of 2022, and this share also rose sharply for the construction industry.
Business confidence is rising
Business confidence rose at the start of the second quarter of 2022 after falling a quarter earlier. The mood indicator came in at 16.8 and was positive for the fifth consecutive quarter. Business confidence consists of realizations, where entrepreneurs assess whether certain indicators have improved compared to the previous quarter, and to a lesser extent based on expectations. Business confidence has fluctuated sharply since the start of the corona pandemic, partly under the influence of corona measures. By February 2022, most of the corona measures expired.
Positive mood in most industries
Business confidence increased in most industries at the beginning of the second quarter of 2022 and was positive in all industries except mineral extraction. The mood in the hotel industry turned sharply, and business confidence was the highest of all industries, after a low a quarter earlier. Horeca entrepreneurs have seen an improvement in revenue and the economic climate over the past three months and also expected revenue to increase over the next three months.
The positive mood increased further in information and communication and wholesale, partly because more entrepreneurs expected an increase in revenue. Entrepreneurs in the construction industry were positive, but confidence fell. This was mainly due to the decline in production in the last three months. Business confidence fell in mineral extraction and was negative at the beginning of the second quarter.
Concerns about price increases over the next 12 months
In the next 12 months, commercial entrepreneurs are mainly concerned about the price increases of necessary materials, energy and services. 46.5 percent of entrepreneurs reported this in early April 2022. Entrepreneurs in industry and construction in particular mentioned this as a worrying situation for the coming year. In addition, 19 percent of entrepreneurs are concerned about international political tensions, conflicts and sanctions. Mineral winners indicated this most often (29 percent), and this percentage was also relatively high in the transportation and warehousing sector. 16 percent of entrepreneurs indicated that they did not experience any worrying situations at all.