First quarter economic growth remains 2.5 percent

According to the second provisional estimate of Statistics Netherlands’ quarterly national accounts, Dutch economic growth was 2.5 percent in the first quarter of 2007 compared with the same period last year. This increase was realised with one working day fewer than in 2006. The result is the same as the first provisional estimate, published on 15 May. Some components have been adjusted, however. Consumption by households and by the government, for example, were higher, while fixed capital formation, product stocks and imports were lower. On the production side, growth rates were  higher for financial institutions and the government sector, while for manufacturing the increase was smaller. 

Quarter-on-quarter growth did change

Compared with the previous quarter, the economy grew by 0.9 percent in the first quarter of 2007. This quarter-on-quarter growth is 0.3 of a percentage point higher than in the first estimate published in May. The main reason for this is the new calculation method for quarter-on-quarter growth.

Sharp drop in gas production curbs economic growth

Because of the exceptionally mild weather, gas production was one quarter lower in the first quarter than in the same period last year. This tempered economic growth considerably in the first quarter. Mainly as a consequence of lower gas consumption, consumption by households and exports increased by less than in 2006. Households will only notice the benefits of lower gas use in their purses in the course of the year. Households did spend more on durable consumer goods such as clothes and consumer electronics. Exports of Dutch manufactured products grew just as fast as last year, in spite of the decrease in gas exports. The increase in fixed capital formation was even higher than the average for 2006. On the production side of the economy, commercial services, manufacturing and construction realised outstanding growth rates.

Economic growth for 2004 and 2006 adjusted upwards

Economic growth for 2004 has been corrected to 2.2 percent. This is 0.2 of a percentage point higher than the previously published rate. In 2004 consumption by households in particular was higher than previously calculated, while imports were lower. On the production side, manufacturing output was substantially higher than earlier estimates indicated.

The growth for 2006 was corrected by 0.1 percentage point upwards, to 3.0 percent. This was the result of higher household consumption and fixed capital formation than previously estimated, while net exports were slightly lower. Economic growth for 2005 remains uncorrected at 1.5 percent.