In the second quarter, the Netherlands suffered much less from corona measures than Belgium. In the northern neighbors, construction, trade, transport, catering and industrial companies had a much less difficult time than in Belgium. This is reported by the Dutch Central Statistical Office (CBS).
In April, May and June the Dutch economy shrank by 9.4 percent compared to the previous year. The Belgian economy fell by 14.5 percent.
The differences with Belgium were greatest in construction. In Belgium, the added value of this sector decreased by 15.7 percent compared to 3.5 percent in the Netherlands. “The biggest difference in corona-related interventions in this industry is that in Belgium a distance had to be respected, while in the Netherlands this quickly became an urgent advice,” the researchers explain. Many Belgian construction companies have therefore closed their doors. In the Netherlands, employers’ associations and trade unions have made agreements to continue working with corona measures.
In the retail sector in Belgium, too, much stricter measures applied than in the Netherlands. In Belgium, stores were only allowed to stay open until the beginning of May if they were deemed essential. In the Netherlands, shops were allowed to remain open if sufficient measures were taken to keep a distance. The differences were particularly great in April. In Belgium, value added fell by 14 percent compared to the previous year, while in the Netherlands only a small decrease was recorded.