Dutch economic growth sliding

  • Year-on-year economic growth 1.1 percent in third quarter
  • Quarter-on-quarter contraction of 0.3 percent
  • Household and government consumption both down 
  • Modest growth for exports and investment
  • Job growth stagnating

According to Statistics Netherlands’ first provisional estimate, the Dutch economy grew by 1.1 percent in the third quarter of 2011 compared with same quarter last year. Compared with the second quarter, the economy shrank by 0.3 percent. This is the first time since the second quarter of 2009 that quarter- on-quarter growth was negative. The number of jobs of employees was 33 thousand up on twelve months previously.

Household consumption down

Households spent just over 1 percent less in the third quarter of 2011 than in the same period last year. Purchases of new cars, in particular, dropped sharply. Spending on clothes and shoes was also down. Consumers also spent less in hotels and restaurants, partly because of the poor weather in July and August.

Government spending on general administration and defence fell substantially as a result as general cost-saving measures and fewer jobs. Government spending on care did continue to rise. Net consumption by government was slightly lower compared with the third quarter last year.

Modest growth for exports

Exports of goods and services grew modestly: they were 4.0 percent up on twelve months  previously. In the second quarter, too, the increase in exports was modest. Exports of Dutch manufactured goods were 2.9 percent higher than last year, while re-exports were 5.1 percent up.

Investment spending up

Investment spending was 4.6 percent higher than twelve months previously. This increase is comparable with that in the second quarter. Investment in cars and machines in particular was up. Investment in dwellings, company premises and civil engineering works grew by 2.6 percent. This is a smaller increase than in preceding quarters.

Hardly any growth in business services

The slight recovery in business services did not continue in the third quarter. Compared with twelve months previously, growth was very modest. Business consultants, engineers, architects and real estate agents all showed negative growth. Temp agencies did grow slightly.
The increase in total manufacturing output was modest in the third quarter. Construction output also only grew slightly.

Jobs growth stagnating

There were 33 thousand employee jobs more in the third quarter of 2011 than in the same quarter of 2010. This is an increase of 0.4 percent. Jobs growth was largest in trade, transport, and hotels and restaurants, at 31 thousand jobs. In the care and business sectors, too, the number of jobs grew strongly. Compared with one year previously, the decrease in the number of jobs was largest in the government sector, 15 thousand, followed by manufacturing and construction.

After correction for seasonal effects, the number of jobs in the third quarter was almost the same as in the second quarter of 2011.