Economic growth fourth quarter adjusted upward to 4.5 percent

Dutch economic growth in the fourth quarter of 2007 was 4.5 percent relative to one year previously. The second economic growth estimate is 0.1 percentage points higher than the first dating back to 14 February. Economic growth over 2007 as a whole was not adjusted and still stands at 3.5 percent, as figures published by Statistics Netherlands show.

Marginal upward adjustment

Investments appear to be marginally higher than initially estimated, whereas government consumption was adjusted downward. This results in an upward correction of economic growth by 0.1 percentage points. Output in the sectors mineral extraction and trade and transport was slightly higher. Agriculture and financial and business services achieved slightly poorer output results. 

Quarter-on-quarter growth 1.2 percent

In the fourth quarter, the economy improved by 1.2 percent compared to the previous quarter, which matches with the first estimate. This quarter-on-quarter growth was only surpassed by the 1.8 percent growth recorded in the third quarter of 2007. 

Substantial growth exports and consumption

Exports of goods and services again grew considerably by 6.8 percent in the fourth quarter. Exports of Dutch products rose by 4.6 percent, significantly higher than in the first six months of 2007. With 8.8 percent, the growth of re-exports again exceeded the growth of exports of Dutch products.

Imports increased by 4.1 percent in the fourth quarter. The growth of imports was curbed, because imports of services were reduced and investment growth was limited. Investments grew by 2.7 percent in the fourth quarter compared to one year ago.

Household consumption improved by 3.3 percent in the fourth quarter, mainly due to a higher consumption of natural gas. Gas consumption was considerably higher in the fourth quarter of 2007 than in the autumn of 2006, when the weather was mild. Households also spent more on durable consumer goods – like furniture and cars– and food, drinks and tobacco.

Natural gas extraction stimulates economic growth

The sector mineral extraction made a significant contribution to economic growth in the fourth quarter of 2007. The volume of natural gas sold on the domestic and foreign markets increased obviously. Output of the construction sector rose substantially by 4.6 percent. The sector benefited by a substantial increase in investments in non-residential building. Within commercial services, temp agencies performed well and grew about 10 percent. With 1 percent output growth, manufacturing industry performed relatively modestly.