Dutch retail improving slower than most EU countries

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No image availableNL Times

Despite ending 2014 on a positive note, the Retail sector in the Netherlands is improving slower than in other European countries. Last year the sales (volume) in the Netherlands increased to 1.0 percent, the first growth in six years. This is still below the average volume growth in the EU of almost 2 percent.

This is according to figures published by Statistics Netherlands today. Only 8 of the 27 other European Union countries showed less improvement.

Dutch retail has been performing worse than neighboring countries since the credit crisis in 2008. The sales volume in Belgium continued to increase steadily, even in the crisis years. Germany also mostly showed growth after 2009. In the Netherlands, however, retail shrank for 5 years and only started showing modest growth again in 2014.

The Netherlands' non-food sector especially lags behind in comparison to the rest of Europe. Sales at clothing stores, consumer electronics stores and toy stores declined sharply after 2008. While the sales in this sector showed the first increase in five years in 2014, the level was still well below that of 2005. This sector in Belgium and Germany has shown a predominantly upward trend since 2005.

The sales in Dutch shops selling food, beverages and tobacco increased by 1.2 percent last year, double the 0.6 European average for the sector. Unlike the non-food sector, sales in the food sector increased slightly compared to 2005 and remained relatively stable after the credit crisis in 2008.

Retail also showed an increase in January this year. The retail turnover in January was 0.8 percent higher than in the same month last year.