It was for the fourth quarter in a row that the Dutch economy grew during the first quarter of 2015. The growth rate was 0.4 percent on the previous quarter according to the first calculations of the currently available data. Contributions to Dutch economic growth are widening: investments, consumption and the balance of exports and imports all contribute positively. The Dutch economy was up 2.4 percent on the first quarter of 2014, according to the latest figures released by Statistics Netherlands.
The next section deals with year-on-year changes
Dutch economy grew by 2.4 percent on last year, according to the first calculations
In the first quarter of 2015 the Dutch economy had increased by 2.4 percent on the first quarter of 2014, mainly because of higher investments, more exports and more household consumption. Government consumption increased slightly as well.
More exports of oil products, natural gas, means of transport and machinery
Exports of Dutch products grew slightly faster that re-exports in the first quarter. Exports of oil products, natural gas, and means of transport, machinery and equipment were substantially greater than in the first quarter of 2014. More services were exported as well. The imports of goods and services did not keep pace with the exports though.
Consumers spent more on gas and electrical devices
Consumers in the first quarter of 2015 spent more than the year before, in line with the slight improvement of employment and the recovery of the Dutch housing market. Disposable household income also improved in 2014. Consumer confidence improved as well, since consumers were positive in March for the first time since the summer of 2007, on balance.
Consumers spent more on furniture and on electrical equipment. Since the first quarter of 2015 was colder that the first quarter of 2014 they used more gas for heating. Consumers also spent more in hotels and restaurants.
More invested in homes and means of transport
People invested considerably more in homes than in the first quarter of 2014, and in means of transport for goods and individuals. Spending on trucks and trailers etc. increased in particular.
Enterprises and institutions invested more in machinery and installations, telecommunication and software. Producers in manufacturing are positive about their future production. The degree of capacity utilisation in the second quarter was at its highest level since the start of the crisis in 2008.
Strong growth in extraction of raw materials and construction
Apart from the financial services and agriculture, all sectors produced more in the first quarter of 2015 than one year previously. Raw materials and construction realised the fastest rise in production. For the extraction of raw materials this is mainly related to the exceptionally warm first quarter of 2014, which saw relatively low exports and domestic consumption of natural gas. The temperatures in the first quarter of 2015 were considerably lower again though.
Production in construction mainly grew because the housing market recuperated. The temp agencies are performing well within business services. This is also clear in the recently published job figures showing a substantial increase in the number of temp workers again.