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Dutch manufacturers expect to invest 30 percent more

Manufacturers anticipate investing approximately 30 percent more in tangible fixed assets in 2024 than in 2023. This significant expectation is partly due to investments that were supposed to be operational in 2023 but have been postponed to 2024. Nearly a fifth of the industrial investments, according to companies, are aimed at sustainability and energy saving. For businesses active in energy supply, this figure is even more than half. This is reported by CBS based on the spring survey of investment expectations.

The data for this study was collected between mid-January and mid-May 2024, through a survey among companies with 10 or more employees. Companies in five sectors answered questions about expected investments in tangible assets, such as buildings, machinery, vehicles, or computers.

Photo: Dreamstime.

Energy suppliers expect the largest increase
Companies in the energy supply sector are the most positive and expect to invest more than a third extra in 2024. This concerns companies that deal in electricity, natural gas, steam, and chilled air, or those involved in the production or distribution thereof. Companies engaged in water and waste management also expect a similar growth in investment. Of the surveyed sectors, the construction industry is the most pessimistic; construction companies anticipate an investment decrease of one-third compared to 2023.

Compared to 2023, the industry expects to invest about 30 percent more. Especially the sectors of electrical engineering and machinery industry (+60 percent), refineries and chemistry (+48 percent), and textile industry (29 percent) expect to invest more next year. Companies in the wood and building materials sector and paper and graphic industry expect to invest a quarter less next year.

Most sustainable investments expected in energy supply
On average, companies in the industry expect to allocate a fifth of their investments in 2024 to sustainability and energy saving. Almost 6 percent of the expected investments are related to emission reduction, just over 5 percent to energy saving (for example, insulation or solar panels). Nearly 5 percent is associated with circular production (reuse of raw materials and waste materials), and over 3 percent with digital investments. Within the industry, the textile, clothing, and leather industry expects the most investments aimed at sustainability and energy saving; about a third of the total investments, mostly focused on energy saving and circular production.

Of the five sectors studied, the percentage of sustainable investments is highest in the energy supply sector, about 54 percent. These investments are primarily aimed at energy saving. Water companies and waste management companies expect that in 2024, about 27 percent of their investments will be sustainable. Here, energy saving plays a significant role, as well as circular production. In the construction industry, a fifth of the expected investments in 2024 are aimed at sustainability. Sustainable investments in this sector are largely focused on reducing emissions.

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