According to provisional figures published by Statistics Netherlands, the 2005 economic growth rate in the provinces of Flevoland and Utrecht was considerably higher than in the rest of the country. The rate for the Netherlands as a whole was 1.5 percent, whereas the rate for Flevoland and Utrecht was almostt 3 percent. All provinces notched up positive growth rates in 2005. Growth rates were modest in Groningen and Friesland due to reduced extraction of natural gas. Limburg, in particular the southern part of the province, was somewhat lagging behind.
Utrecht thrives, growth continues in Flevoland
After years of low and even negative growth figures, Utrecht’s economy improved distinctly by 2.8 percent in 2005. The prolonged recession was mainly caused by the sector business services. The municipality of Utrecht scored the highest growth rate: 3.2 percent. Flevoland has been performing above average right from the start in 1986. In 2005, Flevoland’s growth rate stood at 2.8 percent. The municipality of Almere, situated in the province of Flevoland, had a growth rate of 3.3 percent, but with a growth rate of 2.3 percent, the rest of the province is also topping the nationwide average.
High growth Haarlemmermeer region
North Holland’s growth rate ((2.4 percent) is also well above the national growth rate. With 3.3 percent growth, the Haarlemmermeer region (including Schiphol Amsterdam Airport) stands out. Wholesale trade and air freight transport play an important part in this respect. The Rijnmond region, including Rotterdam and the entire port area, recorded a growth rate of 1.7 percent, just above the national average.
Natural gas extraction affects growth in northern part of the country
Economic growth was moderate in Groningen and Friesland in 2005 and above average in the province of Drenthe. This is mainly due to natural gas extraction. In Groningen and Friesland, the volume of gas extracted in 2005 was smaller than in 2004, whereas the volume of gas extracted in Drenthe increased in 2005. If mineral extraction is not taken into account, the growth rates for the northern provinces change, i.e. 1.4 percent for Groningen, 1.7 percent for Friesland and 1.5 percent for Drenthe. On the other hand, the national growth rate shifts from 1.5 percent to 1.8 percent, if mineral extraction is left out of account.
Limburg lagging behind
The province of Limburg is somewhat lagging behind with a 0.9 percent growth rate. With a growth rate of 1.3 percent, the north and central parts of Limburg score just under the national rate. The south part of Limburg is manifestly staying behind with a growth rate of 0.6 percent. Several branches of industry are accountable. The population decline by almost three-quarter percent also restricts economic growth. The national population growth rate stood at 0.2 percent in 2005.