GDP growth rate 0.4 percent in Q3 2019

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According to the first estimate conducted by Statistics Netherlands (CBS), which is based on currently available data, gross domestic product (GDP) grew by 0.4 percent in Q3 2019 relative to Q2 2019. This is the same growth rate as in the previous two quarters. Growth in Q3 2019 was mainly due to consumption.

GDP (volume), seasonally adjusted
YearQuarterIndex (2010=100)
2012Quarter 1100.8
2012Quarter 2100.9
2012Quarter 3100.5
2012Quarter 499.8
2013Quarter 1100.1
2013Quarter 299.9
2013Quarter 3100.5
2013Quarter 4101.1
2014Quarter 1101
2014Quarter 2101.6
2014Quarter 3101.9
2014Quarter 4102.8
2015Quarter 1103.4
2015Quarter 2103.7
2015Quarter 3104.1
2015Quarter 4104.1
2016Quarter 1105.1
2016Quarter 2105.3
2016Quarter 3106.5
2016Quarter 4107.4
2017Quarter 1107.9
2017Quarter 2108.9
2017Quarter 3109.7
2017Quarter 4110.5
2018Quarter 1111.2
2018Quarter 2111.9
2018Quarter 3112.2
2018Quarter 4112.8
2019Quarter 1113.3
2019Quarter 2113.7
2019Quarter 3114.2

The rest of the news release deals with economic growth compared to Q3 2018.

GDP 1.9 percent up on Q3 2018

According to the first estimate, GDP was 1.9 percent up on Q3 2018. Year-on-year growth was mainly due to higher investments in fixed assets and household consumption. The trade balance made a negative contribution to GDP growth.

Q3 2019 had one working day more than Q3 2018. If GDP is adjusted for this effect, the GDP growth rate is 1.7 percent.

Expenditure (volume)
Category2019-III (year-on-year % change)2019-II (year-on-year % change)
Fixed capital formation7.45.1
Household consumption1.61.8
Government consumption1.51

Higher investments in construction and machinery

In Q3 2019, investments in fixed assets were 7.4 percent higher than one year previously. Investments in commercial buildings, transport equipment (mainly passenger cars) and machinery increased in particular. Investments were also up due to substantial divestment of intangible assets (intellectual property) in Q3 2018.

Investment growth is partly related to the relatively high capacity utilisation rate of machinery and installations in manufacturing. At the start of Q4 2019, this rate again exceeded the average over 2018. Although producer confidence showed a year-on-year decline in Q3 2019, it was still far above the average over the past two decades.

Consumer spending up

Consumer spending was up by 1.6 percent in Q3 2019 relative to the same quarter last year. The growth rate was about the same as in the previous quarter, when consumers spent 1.8 percent more year-on-year. In Q3 2019, consumers spent more on services (e.g. accommodation and food services, transport and communication), electrical appliances, home furnishing articles, beverages and tobacco. However, consumer spending on passenger cars was down again.

Mainly more exports of chemical products and machinery

Exports of goods and services grew by 2.2 percent in Q3 2019. The growth rate was lower than in Q2 2019. 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 more rapidly than exports, by 3.2 percent. As a result, the trade balance (net exports) made a negative contribution to economic growth, just as in the first quarter. In Q2 2019, the contribution was still slightly positive.

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 construction

In Q3 2019, the construction sector realised the strongest output growth: 5.3 percent. At 4.1 percent, the sector agriculture, forestry and fishing also recorded strong growth. The manufacturing industry recorded over 1 percent output growth relative to one year previously, mainly due to the machinery and food industry. The mining and quarrying sector again saw the largest decline.

Value added by sector (volume)
Sector2019-III (year-on-year % change)2019-II (year-on-year % change)
Agriculture, forestry and fishing4.11.2
Information and communication3.74
Real estate activities2.92.7
Business services2.53
Trade, transportation, accommodation and food serving2.52.1
Electricity and gas supply2.37.2
Culture, recreation, other services2.32.7
Public services, education and care1.71.7
Water supply and waste management-1.30.1
Financial institutions-1.4-2.3
Mining and quarrying-14.6-13

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 Tuesday 24 December. 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 three quarters.