GDP growth rate 0.8 percent in Q4 2017

14/02/2018 15:00
© Hollandse Hoogte
According to the first estimate conducted by Statistics Netherlands (CBS), which is based on currently available data, gross domestic product (GDP) posted a growth rate of 0.8 percent in Q4 2017 relative to Q3 2017. Growth is mainly due to an increase in exports. With the release of data on Q4, the annual growth rate over 2017 has become available as well. Last year, GDP rose by 3.1 percent, the highest growth in ten years.

GDP 3.1 percent up in 2017

GDP was 2.9 percent up on Q4 2016. Growth was slightly smaller than in the previous three quarters and is mainly due to higher exports and investments. However, household consumption growth was much smaller than in previous quarters.

According to the first estimate, GDP was 3.1 percent up in 2017, the highest growth after 2007, when GDP growth amounted to 3.7 percent. Growth is widely supported; investments, exports and consumption were up.

Investments in residential property and machinery up

In 2017, investments were up by 6 percent. Higher investments were mainly made in residential property. Entrepreneurs also invested more in machinery, passenger cars and commercial buildings. These higher investments are consistent with the positive mood among Dutch entrepreneurs.

Mainly more exports of machinery and chemical products

Exports of goods and services grew by 5.5 percent in 2017. Dutch companies exported mainly more machinery and appliances. Exports of chemical products were also higher. Re-exports (i.e. exports of imported products) increased slightly more rapidly than the exports of Dutch products.

Imports of goods and services grew at a slower rate than exports. The balance of imports and exports contributed more to GDP in 2017 than in the previous year.

Consumers spend more

Dutch consumer spending was 1.8 percent up in 2017. They mainly spent more on electrical appliances, clothing and home furnishing articles, but less on passenger cars.

Dutch consumers also spent more on services, e.g. in hotels and restaurants and on recreational services. Spending on services accounts for more than half of total domestic consumer spending.

Increased consumption is consistent with employment growth, which is also reported by CBS today, and further recovery of the housing market. Consumer confidence was at a higher level throughout 2017 compared to 2016.


Business services and construction sector show strongest growth

The sectors business services and construction realised strongest output growth in 2017. The manufacturing industry also saw output grow again relative to one year previously. The production of machinery, appliances and transport equipment increased in particular. The mining and quarrying sector, however, saw output decline again on a year-on-year basis.

First estimate

The first estimate is conducted 45 days after the end of a quarter and is based on information available at that moment. CBS provides a first picture of the state of the Dutch economy. After the first estimate, new data are continually pouring in, which are used to make new calculations. The second estimate on economic growth will be released on Monday 26 March. In absolute terms, the adjustment of the second estimate relative to the first estimate averaged 0.1 percentage points over the past half decade, with the two extremes ranging between - 0.3 and + 0.4 percentage points.

With each new estimate, CBS also recalculates the new seasonally adjusted figures of previously published quarters. This recalculation has not resulted in an adjustment of the previous three quarters.

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