According to provisional figures from Statistics Netherlands, the province of Utrecht had the highest economic growth in 2006: just over 4 percent. This is mainly the result of the fact that many companies in the business services and wholesale trade sectors are located in this province. Both these sectors had a very favourable year in 2006.
Utrecht strong in services
Economic growth was 4.2 percent in the province of Utrecht last year. The average growth rate for the whole country was 3 percent. Flevoland had the second highest growth rate at 3.6 percent. In recent years Flevoland had led the field. Groningen was the only province in 2006 where economic growth decreased. This was caused entirely by the lower production of natural gas.
Business services (temp agencies, computer services bureaus, accountants, etc.) and wholesale trade play an important part in the economies of Utrecht and Flevoland. Both sectors performed well in 2006. The growth rate for Flevoland was tempered slightly by agriculture, which performed less well in 2006.
Randstad growing faster than the rest of the Netherlands
Economic growth in the Randstad provinces North and South Holland, Utrecht and Flevoland was 3.4 percent. This is significantly higher than the national average. Just as in preceding year the Haarlemmermeer (in North Holland) surpassed other municipalities, with a growth rate of nearly 5 percent, boosted mainly by Schiphol airport.
In recent years, too, economic growth rates in the Randstad provinces have been better than in the rest of the country. The four Randstad provinces account for more than 50 percent of the Dutch economy. South Holland and North Holland in particular contribute substantially. Flevoland is still the smallest province in terms of its economy, with a share of only 1.6 percent in the national economy.