Economic growth 0.7 percent

14/02/2014 15:00
  • The Dutch economy grew 0.7 percent in the fourth quarter relative to the third quarter
  • 8 thousand jobs lost compared to third quarter
  • Relative to the fourth quarter of 2012:
  • same economic growth rate of 0.7 percent;
  • fixed capital formation 5.3 percent up;
  • exports 0.4 percent higher;
  • household consumption 0.8 percent down;
  • government consumption 0.6 percent down and;
  • 134 thousand jobs lost.
  • According to the first estimate conducted by Statistics Netherlands, the Dutch economy grew 0.7 percent in the fourth quarter relative to the third quarter. After modest growth in the preceding quarters, the speed of economic recovery is picking up. The number of employee jobs decreased by 8 thousand in the fourth quarter compared to the third quarter, but in the third quarter 41 thousand jobs were lost. Quarter-on-quarter developments are adjusted for seasonal variation.

    In the next paragraphs, developments in the fourth quarter of 2013 are compared to developments in the fourth quarter of 2012.

    Economic growth relative to fourth quarter 2012 also 0.7 percent

    Economic growth was also 0.7 percent relative to the fourth quarter 2012. The number of working days in the fourth quarter of 2013 was the same as in the fourth quarter of 2012.

    Fixed capital formation more than 5 percent up

    Fixed capital formation was 5.3 percent up in the fourth quarter from one year previously. Investments in commercial vehicles, non-residential property, machinery and installations and computers were higher than twelve months previously, but investments in residential property and civil engineering projects were below the level of one year previously.

    Marginal growth exports

    Exports were 0.4 percent up in the fourth from the same period in 2012. Exports of Dutch products were 1.5 percent higher, re-exports 0.2 percent. Re-exported goods are goods, which are imported and subsequently exported without having undergone any significant processing. Imports were 0.9 percent below the level of one year previously.

    Exports of rubber and plastic products increased notably in the fourth quarter compared to the fourth quarter of 2012, but exports of petroleum derivatives and chemical products declined.

    Household consumption down by 0.8 percent

    Household consumption on goods and services was 0.8 percent down in the fourth quarter from one year previously. Household consumption has been in decline for an uninterrupted period of nearly three years now. Household spending on energy and fuels was substantially lower in the fourth quarter than in the fourth quarter of 2012, but households also spent less on food, drinks and tobacco products. Consumers spent more on durable goods like clothes and furniture; passenger car sales were considerably higher.

    Government consumption was 0.6 percent down in the last quarter from the last quarter of 2012. This is predominantly due to reduced spending on public administration. Government spending on care was higher than one year ago.

    Manufacturing output growth 2.3 percent

    The value added created by the sectors manufacturing industry and mineral extraction was respectively 2.3 and 2.1 percent up in the fourth quarter from the last quarter of 2012. The value added created by the sector trade, transport and hotels and restaurants and the construction sector was respectively 1.2 and 0.3 percent higher. The value added created by sectors information and communication and business services, on the other hand, was respectively  3.1 and 0.2 percent below the level of the same period in 2012.

    134 thousand jobs lost compared to fourth quarter 2012

    In the fourth quarter of last year, 134 thousand employee jobs (1.7 percent) were lost compared to the fourth quarter of 2012..With 38 thousand, the most substantial decline occurred in the sector care. In terms of percentage, most jobs were lost in the construction sector (8 percent).

    0.8 percent economic contraction over the entire year

    Over the entire year 2013, the Dutch economy showed a negative growth rate of 0.8 percent relative to 2012. Exports were 1.3 percent up, but imports were 0.5 percent down. Investments were 4.9 percent down. Household consumption and government consumption were respectively 2.1 and 0.7 percent down. On average, 138 thousand employee jobs were lost during the entire year 2013 compared to 2012. Such an annual loss of employment is unprecedented.