The Netherlands: 2021 optimism prevails despite COVID

Payment Practices Barometer

  • Netherlands
  • Agriculture,
  • Chemicals/Pharma,
  • Construction,
  • Consumer Durables,
  • Food,
  • Machines/Engineering

25th November 2020

2020 has been a time of unprecedented uncertainty for businesses in the Netherlands, and 2021 still poses many unanswered questions


Over the past five years businesses in the Netherlands were enjoying something of an   economic rebound. Admittedly the economy was beginning to dip more recently in the  light of lower demand from France and Germany and the uncertainties surrounding Brexit, however, on the whole, the economic picture was fairly stable. Then came the COVID-19  pandemic, leading to lockdowns and workfrom-home orders. The effect on the economy  was mercurial in speed, leading to an historic recession and widespread upheaval.

In the midst of this pandemic downturn, we conducted this year’s Payments Practices  Barometer survey. It offered us a valuable opportunity to talk to businesses directly and   to take the pulse of business health through payments performance indicators.

Key takeaways from the report

  • In a notable change from the Netherlands’ strong export focus, businesses have increased the amount of trade credit offered to domestic customers in a bid to grow local sales.
  • To turn overdue invoices into cash, businesses had to wait longer than last year (on average 25 days past the due date, compared to 10 days last year), losing 90% of the value of their B2B receivables that were not paid within 90 days.
  • Businesses in Netherlands lengthen payment terms in a bid to win sales
  • After the pandemic-induced downturn, 45% of businesses reported working more closely with customers to source credit information and accessing this more frequently
    than bank references.
  • Although concerned about cost containment and cash flow, most businesses in the Netherlands are largely positive about the 2021 outlook for the domestic and global economies and the future of international trade.

Interested in getting to know more?

For a complete overview of the corporate payment behaviour in the Netherlands during the COVID-19 pandemic and global recession, please download the complete report.
The report gives also insight into the impact of the pandemic-induced economic crisis on the following industries in the country:

  • Agri-food
  • Construction
  • Construction materials
  • Consumer durables
  • Machines

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