North Holland shows highest economic growth

  • Economy North Holland grows mainly due wholesale sector
  • Obvious economic recovery in North Brabant
  • Provinces of Utrecht and Friesland lagging behind

The latest figures released by Statistics Netherlands show that all Dutch provinces realised economic growth in 2010 after the 2009 slump. The province of North Holland performed best, but North Brabant also showed obvious signs of recovery. The local economies in the provinces of Utrecht and Friesland were lagging behind.

The nationwide economic growth rate for the Netherlands was 1.8 percent last year. North Holland outperformed the other provinces with an economic growth rate of more than 2 percent. North Holland appears to have benefitted most from the strong recovery in the wholesale trade sector. This sector plays an important role in Amsterdam and its surrounding area. The basic metal industry also contributed to the growth of the economy in North Holland.

North Brabant’s economic growth approximated 2 percent in 2010, due to the recovery of manufacturing industry, which is of paramount importance in this province. This is predominantly reflected in the construction sector in the south-east region of North Brabant, where the growth rate exceeded 3 percent.

With 0.8 percent, the province of Friesland had the lowest economic growth rate. The construction sector, where the downturn was even worse in 2010 than in 2009, is relatively strong in Friesland.

The province of Utrecht recorded the second lowest economic growth (0.9 percent). The sector business services was still shrinking in 2010. As the economy in Utrecht depends heavily on this sector, recovery was poor.

In Rotterdam and Amsterdam, the local economies clearly picked up, but in The Hague and Utrecht economic growth was modest. This is also related to the types of activities in these cities. The wholesale sector, which achieved very good results in 2010, is less prominent in The Hague and Utrecht than in the other two major cities. In the municipality of Utrecht, the sector business services is an important economic factor.