Following two disappointing years in 2002 and 2003, the Dutch economy recovered in 2004 with a growth rate of 1.7 percent. While the government sector contributed most to growth in 2002 and 2003, exports were the main factor in 2004.
Economic growth by spending category
The Dutch economy grew by 1.7 percent in 2004; 1.2 percent of this growth was the result of exports, making exports the driving force of economic growth in 2004. Exports of raw materials and mineral fuels in particular rose, but re-exports also increased substantially.
Zero growth for household consumption
Household spending accounted for 0.2 percent economic growth. Two developments contributed to this: consumers bought more goods and services produced in the Netherlands, while they spent less on holidays abroad and on durable goods produced abroad, such as cars
No increase in government consumption
For the first time since 1996, the volume of consumption by government did not grow in 2004. Collective expenditure fell, spending on education remained at the same level and spending on care rose. Overall the contribution of consumption by the government to economic growth was zero.
Fixed capital formation up
Fixed capital formation decreased in 2002 and 2003. The recovery in 2004 is mainly attributable to the upturn in investment in dwellings, transport equipment and computers. Investment in software, too, increased. This resulted in a contribution to growth of 0.3 percent.