GDP growth rate 0.4 percent in Q4 2019

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© Hollandse Hoogte / Rob Engelaar
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 Q4 2019 relative to the previous quarter. In each of the three previous quarters, the growth rate was 0.4 percent as well. Growth in Q4 2019 was due to consumption, investments and the trade balance. With the release of data on Q4, the annual growth rate over 2019 has become available as well. Last year, GDP rose by 1.7 percent.

GDP (volume), seasonally adjusted
   index (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 1108
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
2019Quarter 4114.6

Relative to Q4 2018, GDP was up by 1.5 percent. Year-on-year growth was less substantial than in the three previous quarters. Growth was mainly due to higher consumption and investments.

The rest of the news release deals with economic growth in 2019.

GDP 1.7 percent up in 2019

According to the first estimate, GDP was 1.7 percent up in 2019. Growth was lower than in 2018, when GDP grew by 2.6 percent. Growth in 2019 was due to higher consumption and investments. The trade balance made a negative contribution to GDP growth.

GDP (volume)

Investments in passenger cars and commercial buildings up

Investments in fixed assets were 5.3 percent higher in 2019. In 2018, the growth rate amounted to 3.2 percent. This was mainly due to higher investments in passenger cars and buildings. Investments in residential property, infrastructure, aircraft and machinery also increased. However, investments in residential property grew much less rapidly in 2019 than in 2018, 1.5 percent versus 7 percent.

Consumer spending on home furnishings and appliances up

In 2019, consumers spent 1.4 percent more than in 2018. Growth was lower than in the previous two years, when consumers spent over 2 percent more than one year previously. Consumers mainly spent more on home furnishings , electrical appliances (audio, TV, computers, telephones, household appliances, etc.) and clothes. Expenditures on passenger cars were lower. Furthermore, consumers spent more on services, especially in hotels and restaurants, transport and communication services. Service expenditure accounts for over half of total domestic consumption expenditure.

Mainly more exports of machinery and chemical products

Exports of goods and services grew by 2.6 percent in 2019 against 3.7 percent in 2018. In 2019, Dutch companies mainly exported more machinery and chemical products. Exports of petroleum products and clothes and textiles also grew. Re-exports (i.e. exports of imported products) grew while exports of domestic products declined.

With a growth rate of 3.2 percent, imports of goods and services grew faster than exports. As a result, the balance of imports and exports made a negative contribution to economic growth.

Overall growth in both imports and exports was affected negatively in 2019 by a large company relocating part of its business activities to another country. However, this hardly affected the trade balance.

Expenditure (volume)
 2019 (year-on-year % change)2018 (year-on-year % change)
Fixed capital formation5.33.2
Household consumption1.42.3
Government consumption1.31.6

Construction shows strongest growth

Output by construction companies showed the strongest growth in 2019 (4.7 percent). At 3.7 percent, the sector information and communication recorded the second strongest growth. However, growth of the construction sector was smaller than in the previous four years.

In 2019, the manufacturing industry also recorded output growth relative to the previous year (0.8 percent), but to a lesser extent than it did in 2018 (4.7 percent). Just as in 2018, production of machinery and appliances grew in particular. These were also popular export products. The mining and quarrying sector, on the other hand, went through contraction again.

Value added by sector (volume)
 2019 (year-on-year % change)2018 (year-on-year % change)
Information and communication3.73.9
Electricity and gas supply3.20.6
Business services34.8
Real estate activities2.82.7
Trade, transportation, accommodation and food serving2.23.2
Culture, recreation, other services22.8
Public services, education and care1.70.9
Agriculture, forestry and fishing1-2.5
Water supply and waste management-0.61.4
Financial institutions-2.1-1.4
Mining and quarrying-12.2-15

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 conducts this estimate to provide a first impression of the state of the Dutch economy. After the first estimate, new data are continually pouring in and are subsequently used for new calculations. The second estimate of economic growth will be published on Wednesday 25 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 recalculates the new seasonally adjusted figures of previously published quarters. The recalculations has not resulted in an adjustment of the previous quarters of 2019 and 2018.