The Netherlands has long been Europe’s fifth most powerful economy, but falling house prices, a fresh tranche of austerity measures and over exposure to the euro crisis has caused a sharp decline in consumer spending.

Unsurprisingly, this is having an adverse effect on the domestic marine industry. As reported in IBI’s European Round-up last month, quarterly surveys of the trade body HiIWA’s membership reveals that more than 40 per cent of Dutch marine companies expect a drop in turnover as well as margins during this financial year. Not exactly helping to motivate their domestic buyers are some impending tax rises, including a hike in VAT from 19 to 21 per cent as of October 1, 2012.


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