Dutch economy improved by 2.9 percent in 2006. Manufacturers of goods contributed 0.4 percentage points. The sectors agriculture, mineral extraction and public utilities recorded a lower output, while the sectors manufacturing industry and construction achieved a higher output.
Growth GDP by category of manufacturers, 1978-2006
Natural gas consumption down
Due to the lower natural gas consumption, the sector mineral extraction made a negative contribution to economic growth of 0.1 percentage point. Warm weather conditions caused a steep reduction in natural gas extraction in the latter half of 2006. Output in the sector mineral extraction fell by more than 2 percent.
Contribution to economic growth by branch, 2006
Agricultural output marginally down
Disappointing agricultural and horticultural crops resulted in a negative contribution to economic growth in 2006. Extreme weather conditions played an important part in this respect. Drought and heat in July were followed by abundant precipitation in August. The average growth in the sector agriculture has been lower than total economic growth for decades and the contribution of the sector agriculture to Dutch economy declined from 4 percent in 1987 to 2 percent in 2006.
Higher manufacturing output
Manufacturing output was boosted by the high level of business investments. There was heavy demand for machinery and transport equipment. Manufacturers of basic chemicals also had a good year in 2006. Manufacturing output increased by more than 2 percent with an upturn in the fourth quarter.
Significant growth construction sector
Among producers of goods, the construction sector performed best in 2006. Output increased by 5 percent. Residential and non-residential building and civil engineering works achieved good results. The stock of new houses grew by 8 percent relative to 2005.
Output and income, 2006
Mainly higher incomes
Incomes of goods manufacturers have risen, mainly on account of higher revenues from natural gas. Agriculture, construction and public utilities also recorded higher profits. The gap between selling price and cost price pushed up profits. Labour costs did not increase as rapidly as production value. Income in manufacturing industry dropped, largely on account of adverse price developments in the manufacture of petroleum and chemical end products.
Nico van Stokrom and Wim Tebbens