GDP was 2.0 percent up on the same quarter in 2017. Year-on-year growth was lower than in the three previous quarters. Just as in the previous quarters, growth was widely supported in Q4. Consumption, investments and exports all contributed equally.
Overall growth in both imports and exports in Q4 2018 was affected negatively by a large company relocating part of its business activities to another country. However, this doesn’t affect the balance of exports and imports. Furthermore, there were two optional bridging days in December 2018: 24 and 31 December. In accordance with European regulations, the results have not been adjusted for this.
The rest of the news release deals with economic growth in 2018.
GDP was 2.5 percent up in 2018
According to the first estimate, GDP was 2.5 percent up in 2018. The growth rate was somewhat lower than the 2.9 percent in 2017. Growth in 2018 was mainly due to more consumption and higher investments. The balance of exports and imports also contributed, but to a lesser degree than in 2017.
Consumers purchase more cars and electrical appliances
In 2018, consumers spent 2.5 percent more than in 2017. The growth rate was higher than in 2017 when consumers spent 1.9 percent more than one year previously. Consumers mainly spent more on passenger cars and electrical appliances (audio, video, computers, telephones etc.). They also spent more on services, especially in hotels and restaurants, transport and communication services. Service expenditure accounts for over half of total domestic consumption expenditure.
Investments in passenger cars, buildings and machinery up
Investments in fixed assets were up by 4.8 percent in 2018. The growth rate was 6.1 percent one year previously. Just as in 2017, investments in residential property and commercial buildings increased. Entrepreneurs also invested more in passenger cars, machinery and installations.
Mainly more exports of machinery and transport equipment
Exports of goods and services grew by 2.7 percent in 2018 against 5.3 percent in 2017. In 2018, Dutch companies mainly exported more transport equipment, machinery and appliances. Re-exports (exports of previously imported products) grew at a slightly faster pace than the export of domestically made products.
Imports of goods and services also grew by 2.7 percent in 2018. As a result, the balance of imports and exports made a less substantial contribution to economic growth than in 2017.
|Fixed capital formation||4.8||6.1|
Construction shows strongest growth
Output by construction companies showed the strongest growth in 2018. The sector business services also showed substantial growth compared to 2017. The sector temp agencies in particular had higher output again. Labour market figures published by CBS today corroborate this development: the number of temp agency workers continued to grow, but growth is slowing down.
The manufacturing industry also recorded output growth relative to one year previously. Last year saw a substantial increase in the production of transport equipment, machinery and appliances. These were also popular export products. However, the sector mineral extraction went through contraction again and agricultural production was down as well.
|Information and communication||3.6||3.7|
|Trade, transportation, accommodation and food serving||3||3.9|
|Real estate activities||2.8||2|
|Culture, recreation, other services||2.8||2.1|
|Public services, education and care||1.5||2|
|Electricity and gas supply||0.4||-0.5|
|Water supply and waste management||0.3||-0.1|
|Agriculture, forestry and fishing||-2.5||0.6|
|Mining and quarrying||-15.2||-14.1|
The first estimate is conducted 45 days after the end of a quarter and is based on information available at that moment. CBS conducts this estimate to provide a first impression of the state of the Dutch economy. After the first estimate, new data become available constantly which are subsequently used for new calculations. The second estimate of economic growth will be published on Tuesday 26 March. In absolute terms, the adjustment of the second estimate relative to the first estimate has 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 calculation, CBS also fixes the new seasonally adjusted figures of previously reported quarters. The growth figure over Q3 2018 was adjusted downward by 0.1 percentage point. The growth figures over the first two quarters of 2018 have not been adjusted.