Most Dutch businesses facing higher costs they can’t pass on despite rising debt levels

Three-quarters of companies in the Netherlands say that they can’t pass the higher costs on entirely to consumers. Most said increasing their prices to fully compensate for higher costs would negatively impact their competitive position. About 5 percent of entrepreneurs describe their debt burden as problematic, Statistics Netherlands (CBS) reported after surveying non-financial companies with eat least five employees last month.

Nearly 28 percent of companies cited an expected deterioration in their competitive position as the main reason for failing to fully pass on their cost increases. Twenty percent worried they’d sell less if they passed on the higher costs in full. And 23 percent said that they had agreements about price increases in their contracts. That was most common in the real estate sector, where things like rent increases are often regulated.

About a quarter of companies said that they didn’t experience higher costs or could pass them on in full.

Most companies said that their debt levels were lower or about the same as last year, and 95 percent called their debts a bearable burden. But 5 percent called their debts problematic.

The hospitality and other services sectors have the most companies that are worried about their debt burden. In the hospitality industry, 13 percent of companies called their debts problematic. In the other services sector, that was 10 percent.

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