Major cities hit less hard by recession

  • Impact economic slowdown most apparent in Friesland
  • Effects recession less noticeable in four major cities
  • Chemical industry accounts for growth in Zeeland

Last year, the economy shrank across nearly all provinces. The economy in the province of Friesland shrank most dramatically (1.5 percent), but the contraction was also above the national average of 1.0 percent in the provinces of Overijssel, Drenthe and North Brabant. Zeeland was the only province to generate marginal growth (0.4 percent), as the latest figures released by Statistics Netherlands show.

The contraction was below the national average in the Randstad region. This is mainly due to the fact that the economic situation in the four major Dutch cities was less unfavourable than in various other parts of the country. In Rotterdam, the negative growth was only 0.3 percent, followed by Amsterdam with 0.4 percent. The sector transport and storage continued to grow in 2012, which had a positive effect on the local economy in Amsterdam and Rotterdam. The chemical industry also made a positive contribution to the economy in Rotterdam. Due to the modest growth in the sector services, the downturn in Utrecht was limited to 0.6 percent. Partly due to government cutbacks, the economy shrank 0.8 percent in The Hague, the highest rate in the four major Dutch cities.

Zeeland was the only province to show a modest economic growth by 0.4 percent in 2012. This was predominantly due to growth in the chemical industry, which benefitted from growing exports. The provinces of  Friesland, Overijssel, Drenthe and North Brabant were hit most by the recession. These provinces were seriously affected by the poor situation in the construction sector, a sector which is more prominent in this region than elsewhere in the country.