GDP growth rate 0.5 percent in Q2 2019

© Hollandse Hoogte / Hans van Rhoon
According to the first estimate conducted by Statistics Netherlands (CBS), which is based on currently available data, gross domestic product (GDP) grew by 0.5 percent in Q2 2019 relative to Q1 2019. This is the same growth rate as in the previous two quarters. Growth in Q2 2019 was mainly due to increased investments in fixed assets, household consumption and the trade balance.

GDP (volume), seasonally adjusted (2010=100)
   index
2012Quarter 1100.8
Quarter 2100.9
Quarter 3100.5
Quarter 499.8
2013Quarter 1100.1
Quarter 299.9
Quarter 3100.5
Quarter 4101.1
2014Quarter 1101
Quarter 2101.6
Quarter 3101.9
Quarter 4102.8
2015Quarter 1103.4
Quarter 2103.7
Quarter 3104.1
Quarter 4104.1
2016Quarter 1105.1
Quarter 2105.3
Quarter 3106.5
Quarter 4107.4
2017Quarter 1108
Quarter 2108.9
Quarter 3109.7
Quarter 4110.5
2018Quarter 1111.2
Quarter 2111.9
Quarter 3112.2
Quarter 4112.8
2019Quarter 1113.3
Quarter 2113.9

The rest of the news release deals with economic growth compared to Q2 2018.

GDP 2.0 percent up on Q2 2018

According to the first estimate, GDP was 2.0 percent up on Q2 2018. Growth was mainly due to higher investments in fixed assets, household consumption and the trade balance.

Q2 2019 had one working day more than Q2 2018. If GDP is adjusted for this effect, the GDP growth rate is 1.8 percent.

Expenditure (volume) (year-on-year % change)
 2019-II2019-I
GDP21.7
Imports2.52.2
Fixed capital formation5.35
Exports31.3
Household consumption1.70.7
Government consumption0.81.3

Higher investments in construction and machinery

In Q2 2019, investments in fixed assets were 5.3 percent higher than one year previously. Growth was slightly higher than in Q1 2019. Investments in dwellings, buildings, transport equipment (mainly aircraft) and machinery increased in particular.

Investment growth is partly related to the relatively high capacity utilisation rate of machinery and installations in manufacturing. At the start of Q3 2019, this rate again exceeded the average over 2018. Although producer confidence showed a year-on-year decline in Q2 2019, it was still far above the average over the past two decades.

Consumer spending up

Consumer spending was up by 1.7 percent in Q2 2019 relative to the same quarter last year. The growth rate was higher than in the previous quarter, when consumers spent 0.7 percent more year-on-year. In Q2 2019, consumers spent more on e.g. electrical appliances, clothing, home furnishing articles and services. Natural gas consumption increased as well; the second quarter of 2019 had slightly colder weather conditions compared to Q2 2018. However, consumers spent less on passenger cars again.

Mainly more exports of machinery

Exports of goods and services grew by 3.0 percent in Q2 2019. The growth rate is higher than in Q1 2019, mainly due to exports of services. Furthermore, Dutch companies exported mainly more chemical products, machinery and appliances. Re-exports (i.e. exports of imported products) grew while exports of domestic products declined.

Imports of goods and services grew less rapidly than exports, by 2.5 percent. As a result, the trade balance (net exports) made a positive contribution to economic growth. In Q1 2019, the contribution was negative.

Overall growth in both imports and exports is affected negatively by a large company relocating part of its business activities to another country. However, this does not affect the trade balance.

Strongest growth in energy production and construction

In Q2 2019, energy companies realised the strongest output growth: 6.2 percent. At 5.1 percent, the construction sector also recorded strong growth again. The manufacturing industry recorded hardly any output growth relative to one year previously. The mining and quarrying sector again saw the largest decline.

Value added by sector (volume) (year-on-year % change)
 2019-II2019-I
Electricity and gas supply6.21.1
Construction5.19.7
Information and communication4.63.3
Business services3.53.7
Culture, recreation, other services31.3
Real estate activities2.72.1
Agriculture, forestry and fishing2.6-3.6
Trade, transportation, accommodation and food serving2.32
Public services, education and care1.71.5
Manufacturing0.21
Water supply and waste management0-0.2
Financial institutions-2.1-2.4
Mining and quarrying-12.7-4.7

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 23 September. In absolute terms, the adjustment of the second estimate relative to the first estimate has averaged nearly 0.1 percentage points over the past half decade, with the two extremes ranging between - 0.1 and + 0.3 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 quarters.

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