First quarter economic growth adjusted to 3.3 percent

03/07/2008 15:00

Dutch economic growth in the first quarter of 2008 was 3.3 percent on the same period last year. It was realised with one working day fewer than in 2007. This second estimate of economic growth is 0.2 of a percent point higher than the fist estimate published on 15 May. The growth rates for the preceding three years are always adjusted in July, as more and better information has become available. Economic growth for 2005 and 2006 is higher than previously published, while the growth rate for 2007 remains unchanged, according to figures from Statistic Netherlands.

Slight upward adjustment

The upward adjustment of economic growth for the first quarter is the result of higher estimates for production by the manufacturing and construction sectors. Production by government is slightly lower. On the spending side, fixed capital formation and stocks formation are higher, while government consumption is lower. Also, both exports and imports of services are higher than previously estimated.

Quarter-on-quarter growth 0.4 percent

Compared with the fourth quarter of 2007, economic growth was 0.4 percent in the first quarter of 2008 after correction for working-day and seasonal effects. The quarter-on-quarter growth is 0.2 of a percent point higher than in the first estimate published in May.

Economic growth broadly based

The volume of exports of goods and services rose by 6.5 percent in the first quarter. This is the same as the average for the whole of 2007. Re-exports rose by slightly less. The strong increase in exports of natural gas boosted exports of Dutch produced goods. Imports rose by more than exports. Household consumption rose by 2.3 percent, a fraction more than in 2007, but this was mainly caused by the higher consumption of natural gas. Compared with the extremely mild first quarter of 2007, households used more gas to heat their homes. Purchases of durable goods rose by only 0.4 percent. The increase in government consumption was small and completely accounted for by increased spending on care. Other government spending fell slightly. Investment growth was high, at 7.2 percent, with company buildings, goods vehicles and computers the top investment items. On the production side of the economy, natural gas extraction and construction provided a substantial boost. Commercial services grew more slowly than in previous quarters at 3.2 percent. The slowdown was mainly in the temp agency branch. Growth of manufacturing production was low, at 1.5 percent.

Economic growth for 2005 and 2006 adjusted upwards

Economic growth for 2005 has been adjusted to 2.0 percent, 0.5 of a percent point higher than the previously published growth rate. The growth rate for 2006 has been raised by 0.4 of a percent point to 3.4 percent. In both years consumption and fixed capital formation, but also net exports were higher than previously estimated. On the production side, manufacturing and commercial services produced more. Economic growth for 2007 remained unchanged at 3.5 percent.