Economic growth 0.6 percent in first quarter of 2015


According to the second estimate of economic growth conducted by Statistics Netherlands (CBS), the Dutch economy grew 0.6 percent in Q1 2015 relative to Q4 2014. The first estimate, published on 13 May, anticipated a growth rate of 0.4 percent. The overall picture of the economy has not changed. Growth is widely supported: investments, consumption and exports all contributed to economic growth.

Investment in fixed capital formation and household consumption in particular were revised upwards. New supplementary data regarding the construction sector suggest that investments in non-residential property and infrastructural projects are higher than initially estimated. The same applies to investments in machinery, equipment and installations. New additional information about the retail sector and the services sector indicate that the growth of household consumption has increased. Export has also been adjusted upwards on the basis of data on trade in goods and services.

First estimate

The first estimate - 45 days after the end of each quarter - is solely based on information available at the time. After the publication of the first estimate, new information about the state of the Dutch economy is continually pouring in. In absolute terms, the adjustment of the second estimate relative to the first estimate averaged 0.1 percentage points over the past half decade. The two extremes ranged between –0.3 and +0.4 percentage points.

Results earlier quarters marginally adjusted

When a new estimate is published, CBS also calculates the seasonally adjusted series of quarters already published. As a result of the second estimate of the first quarter of 2015, growth figures for the last two quarters of 2014 have also been revised. The third quarter of 2014 was adjusted from 0.3 to 0.4 percent and the fourth quarter from 0.8 to 0.9. Figures for Q1 and Q2 2014 did not change.

Growth relative to Q1 2014

Compared to one year previously, the economic growth rate over Q1 was 2.5 percent, versus 2.4 percent according to the first estimate.

Labour market stable

The second estimate shows that the number of employee jobs and self-employed jobs was at the same level in Q1 2015 as in Q4 2014. In the first estimate, the number of jobs increased by 6 thousand. Employment figures were revised on the basis of additional data.

According to the second estimate, the number of employee jobs and self-employed jobs grew by 71 thousand in Q1 2015 compared to the same quarter in 2014, as against 65 thousand according to the first estimate.

Annual figures

Simultaneously with the second estimate on Q1 2015, revised annual figures are published for 2012 (status: final), 2013 (status: revised provisional) and 2014 (status: provisional). On the basis of new data, the economic growth rate for these years was adjusted: from –1.6 to –1.1 percent in 2012, from –0.7 to –0.5 percent in 2013 and from 0.9 to 1.0 percent in 2014.

Apart from the regular revision of the past three years, the GDP time series for the period 1995–2011 has also been completed. The completion of the GDP time series is the final step in the revision of national accounts. The first results were published in 2014.

Recalculation gross national income 2011-2013

In April, CBS reported that the gross national incomes (GNIs) for 2011 and 2012 were revised upwards by 1.8 and 1.5 percent respectively relative to earlier estimates. Since then, more research has not given rise to a different perception of these years. On the basis of information which has recently become available, the GNI for 2013 appeared to be 3.0 percent higher than in the first estimate released in June 2014.

The growth of the GDP accounts for 1.2 percentage points of the 3.0 percent GNI increase; partly because new information became available for the year 2013 about the public sector, the sector education and the sector health care and welfare and partly because the Dutch economy grew faster in 2012 than initially anticipated. This also affected the economy in 2013.

The remaining 1.8 percentage points are based on more detailed information about financial flows between the Dutch private sector and foreign countries. Since the publication of the first estimate at the end of June 2014, more elaborate information has become available based on annual surveys and annual accounts about financial flows between the Dutch private sector and other countries. Today, the first estimate on the GNI for 2014 will be published.