Economic growth third quarter adjusted upward to 4.2 percent

20/12/2007 15:00

The Dutch economy grew 4.2 percent in the third quarter of 2007 relative to one year previously. According to the latest figures published by Statistics Netherlands, the second estimate of the economic growth turned out to be 0.1 percentage points higher than the first estimate made on 13 November.

Economic growth in the third quarter was the highest in more than seven years. Natural gas production in particular boosted Dutch economy. Output of commercial service providers and the construction sector also grew above average. Exports, investments and household consumption improved relative to the first six months of 2007.

Marginal upward adjustment

The upward adjustment by 0.1 percent is the result of a few minor changes. Investments and exports of Dutch products turned out to be higher, consumption lower. In agriculture, natural gas extraction and commercial services, output marginally increased, in the sector care output was somewhat below the level of the first estimate.

Highest quarter-on-quarter growth in more than a decade

The economy improved 1.8 percent in the third quarter compared to the second quarter. This is the same as shown in the first estimate. Quarter-on-quarter growth is distinctly higher than in the preceding quarters and indeed turns out to be the highest in more than a decade.

Accelerated growth in exports, consumption and investments

In the third quarter, exports improved more than in the first six months, due to exports of Dutch products. Higher natural gas consumption pushed up the growth rate of household consumption. In 2006, the consumption of natural gas was extremely low, because of the warm weather in summer. Dutch consumers bought more durable goods like clothes, consumer electronics and home furnishings. Expenditure for care grew faster and stimulated government consumption. Lastly, investments (machinery and equipment, buildings and computers) grew across the board.

Commercial services, natural gas extraction, construction and care account for growth

Natural gas extraction accounted for the largest output growth in the third quarter of 2007, as throughout Europe this year’s summer was less warm. Production in the sectors construction and commercial services improved by approximately 5 percent. The construction sector benefitted from higher investments in non-residential building. In the sector commercial services, output grew significantly in wholesale, temp agencies, ICT and economic and legal sevices. Production of the sector care also increased. Manufacturing production, on the other hand, was below average.