Dutch economic growth at 1.8 percent in the third quarter of 2010

12/11/2010 15:00
  • 1.8 percent year-on-year growth
  • No quarter-on-quarter growth
  • Robust but slightly slower growth in exports
  • Modest growth in household consumption
  • Job recovery continues

According to the first provisional estimates by Statistics Netherlands, Dutch economic growth in the third quarter of 2010 reached 1.8 percent compared to the same quarter of 2009.

Compared with the previous quarter the Dutch economy contracted by 0.1 percent in the third quarter of 2010. This takes the working day and seasonal influences into account. The previous four quarters saw a positive quarter-on-quarter growth

Robust but slightly slower growth in exports

In the third quarter of 2010 the export volume of goods and services was over 10 percent higher than in the same quarter of 2009. The growth rate is slightly slower than in the second quarter. Re-exports grew fastest again. The growth rate of the exports of Dutch manufactured products on the other hand lagged behind because foreign demand for chemical products did not grow as abundantly as in the previous quarter and there was a dip in natural gas exports.

Less investment in construction, more in machinery and computers

In the third quarter investments were down by 3 percent on the previous year. Investments in housing, commercial property and civil engineering works were considerably lower. However investments in machinery and computers were up substantially. The decrease in investments is less than in the previous quarters.

Modest growth in household consumption

Households spent 0.6 percent more in the third quarter than the year before. Although this is a modest growth rate, it is the highest in two years. The increase is mainly due to spending on durable consumer goods. People bought more cars and spent more on consumer electronics and clothes. They spent less on foreign travel and in hotels and restaurants.
The volume of government consumption continued to increase. The real expenditure on care was higher, as was spending on public government and education.

Substantial growth in manufacturing, continued contraction in construction

Dutch industrial production grew by 7 percent in the third quarter. This was slightly less than the growth rate in the second quarter, mainly due to slower growth in the chemical industry. The production of natural gas increased somewhat on the year before, but far less so than in the second quarter. In line with the increased industrial production trade and transport followed with growth rates of 7 and 3 percent respectively.
The contraction in construction continued, but was less severe than in the previous three quarters. In the third quarter, production was down by 8 percent on the year before.

Job recovery continues

In the third quarter of 2010 there were 17 thousand fewer jobs of employees than in the same quarter of 2009. This is just a 0.2 percent decrease. The seasonally adjusted number of jobs in the third quarter was up by 8 thousand on the second quarter of 2010. This is the second quarter in a row with positive quarter-on-quarter growth. The quarter-on-quarter growth in the third quarter is slower than in the second quarter.