The growth rate has been adjusted downwards. In the first estimate, which was published on 18 May, contraction amounted to 0.5 percent. On the one hand, the adjustment is the result of new, more complete data for the first quarter of 2021 and, on the other, of adjustments to the annual figures for 2019 and 2020 and the reconciliation of the quarterly estimates with these new annual figures. This is done every year in June.
The overall picture of the economy has remained unchanged. GDP contraction in Q1 is mainly attributable to a decline in household consumption. However, higher investments and an increased trade balance cushioned the contraction.
The second estimate is conducted 90 days after the end of the quarter. The first estimate, which is calculated 45 days after the end of the quarter, is based on the most recent data available at that moment. After the first estimate, more new information about the state of the Dutch economy keeps pouring in, e.g. data about the sectors construction business services, hotels and restaurants, government care and the financial sector. These data are subsequently incorporated into new calculations.
In absolute terms, the adjustment in the second estimate relative to the first estimate has averaged nearly 0.04 percentage points over the past half decade, with the two extremes ranging between -0.2 and + 0.1 percentage points.
Quarter-on-quarter growth adjustment
With each new estimate, CBS also recalculates the seasonally adjusted series of previously published quarters. As a result, the quarter-on-quarter GDP growth rate in Q3 2020 and Q4 2020 has been adjusted from 7.7 to 7.5 percent and from -0.1 to 0.0 percent respectively.
Simultaneously with the publication of the second estimate over Q1 2021, revised annual figures over 2019 (final) and 2020 (provisional) are published. On the basis of the most recent data, the economic growth rate for 2020 (provisionally) has been adjusted from -3.7 to -3.8 percent. The growth rate for 2019 has been adjusted from 1.7 to 2.0 percent.
Growth relative to Q1 2020
Year-on-year, GDP declined by 2.4 percent. In the first estimate, contraction was 2.8 percent. The year-on-year contraction was mainly due to lower household consumption. However, public consumption and the trade balance contributed positively.
In particular, the value added of COVID-19-affected industries has been revised downwards in the quarters of 2020. As a result, the year-on-year contraction in the first quarter of 2021 was smaller than in the first estimate. The changes in the industries were exceptionally high and erratic in the past year. The uncertainty margins around the quarterly estimates are therefore larger than before the pandemic.
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Number of jobs down by 16 thousand
The second estimate shows that the number of employee and self-employed jobs decreased by 16 thousand in Q1 2021 compared to Q4 2020. The first estimate suggested a decrease of 69 thousand jobs.
In Q1 2021, the second estimate further suggested a decline of 169 thousand employee and self-employed jobs compared to the same quarter in 2020, versus 221 thousand according to the first estimate.
Job figures are adjusted when additional information becomes available.
|change (quarter-on-quarter change (1,000))|