Diminishing economic growth

In the first quarter of 2001 the growth rate of the Dutch economy waslower that in the previous quarter. There was a 1.6% year-on-year volume increase in the Gross Domestic Product (GDP). When the figures are corrected for the seasonal and calendar effects there is even a slightly negative growth rate of 0.3% on the fourth quarter of 2000.

GDP (volume changes)

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The low growth rate in consumption is quite remarkable. This is mainly caused by purchases made at the end of last year, in anticipation of the rise in VAT rates on 1 January 2001.

The growth rate in investments is also falling, to 0.1%. Export s continue to grow, but the growth rate (6.6%) is well below that of the previous quarter (8.3%).

Consumption and investments (year-on-year volume changes)

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On the production side of the economy, the growth rate in manufacturing and construction was levelling off during the first quarter. There is far less growth in transport and communication and in financial and business services, which boomed in recent years.

Gert Buiten