Economy continues to grow

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The Dutch economy continued to grow in the second quarter of 2016. According to the first estimate based on currently available data, economic growth amounted to 0.6 percent relative to the previous quarter. The growth is mainly due to rising investments and consumption. Net exports also contributed to growth.

The Dutch economy is showing sustained improvement. Quarter-on-quarter growth has prevailed for nine quarters on end. Compared to the second quarter of 2015, the size of of the economy grew by 2.3 percent.

The rest of the news release deals with economic growth relative to the first quarter of 2015

Economy grew by 2.3 percent relative to Q2 2015

As the first estimate indicates, the size of the Dutch economy increased by 2.3 percent on the same quarter in 2015. The increase is mainly due to higher exports volumes, rising investments and more consumption. The second quarter had two working days more in 2016 than in the previous year. Adjusted for the number of working days, year-on-year growth was 1.8 percent.

Higher investments in residential property and aircraft

The second quarter again showed considerable growth in investments related to transport equipment and residential property. Companies invested more in aircraft, lorries and semi-trailers. The rise in investments is in line with the positive mood among producers, which reached its highest level in over five years by the end of the second quarter.

Again higher exports of transport equipment

The increase in exports of goods and services was slightly lower in the second quarter compared to the first quarter of 2016, mainly on account of less significant growth in exports of services relative to the previous quarters.

Exports of Dutch products did rise more steeply than in the previous quarter. Dutch companies exported significantly higher volumes of transport equipment year-on-year. More specifically, this included a platform for oil extraction in the North Sea; exports of food, beverages and tobacco products also increased. Furthermore, re-exports (exports of previously imported products) grew faster than in the first quarter.

Imports of goods and services in the second quarter increased more than exports. Net imports still contributed slightly to economic growth, however.

Consumers mainly spending more on services

Consumers as well spent more in this year’s second quarter compared to last year’s. They mainly spent more on services such as hotels and restaurants. Expenditure on services make up more than half of total domestic consumption expenditure. In addition, consumers spent more on clothing and electrical applicances.Consumer confidence has been almost continuously positive since February 2015.

Expenditure by category, 2016-II
 % change
Imports 4.2
Fixed capital formation7.6
Household consumption1.2
Government consumption0.9

Construction and business services growing, mineral extraction declining

Output in the construction industry and in business services maintained strong growth figures during the second quarter. Within the business services sector, output increased in the temporary agency sector in particular. This is reflected by the employment figures as reported by Statistics Netherlands today: the number of temp jobs grew by 30 thousand. In the manufacturing industry, output also exceeded that of Q2 2015, with more pronounced growth in manufacturing of transport equipment and in the oil industry.

Mineral extraction declined again, although the decline was less substantial than in the four previous quarters.

Value added by sector, 2016-II
 % change
Business services4.6
Electricity and gas supply3.9
Trade, transportation, accommodation and food serving2.7
Real estate activities2.6
Information and communication2.3
Culture, recreation, other services1.1
Public services, education and care0.7
Agriculture, forestry and fishing0.1
Financial institutions-0.3
Water supply and waste management-0.4
Mining and quarrying-8.5

First estimate

The first estimate – released 45 days after the end of a quarter – is based on data available at that moment, and gives an indication of the present state of the Dutch economy. After the first estimate is published, new data are made available constantly, including results in the sectors business services, construction and hotels and restaurants. CBS uses these to make new calculations. Publication of the second economic estimate by CBS is scheduled for Friday, 23 September. In the past five years, definite figures in the second estimate have been adjustments of 0.1 percentage points on average relative to the first estimate. The two extremes have been -0.3 and +0.4 percentage points.

CBS also provides new seasonally adjusted figures over the previous quarters with each new calculation. This means for example that quarter-on-quarter growth in Q1 2016 has been adjusted from 0.5 to 0.6 percent.