Economic contraction of 0.7 percent in Q1 2023

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© Hollandse Hoogte / Hans van Rhoon
According to the first quarterly estimate conducted by Statistics Netherlands (CBS) on the basis of currently available data, in Q1 2023 gross domestic product (GDP) decreased by 0.7 percent relative to the previous quarter. In Q4 2022, GDP rose by 0.4 percent. The contraction in the first quarter of 2023 is mainly due to a decline in the trade balance and to increased gas withdrawals from storage facilities.

GDP (volume), seasonally adjusted
YearQuarterIndex (2015=100)
2016Quarter 1101.2
2016Quarter 2101.4
2016Quarter 3102.6
2016Quarter 4103.4
2017Quarter 1104
2017Quarter 2104.9
2017Quarter 3105.6
2017Quarter 4106.4
2018Quarter 1106.9
2018Quarter 2107.6
2018Quarter 3107.8
2018Quarter 4108.3
2019Quarter 1109
2019Quarter 2109.5
2019Quarter 3109.9
2019Quarter 4110.4
2020Quarter 1108.8
2020Quarter 2100.1
2020Quarter 3106.4
2020Quarter 4106.3
2021Quarter 1106.7
2021Quarter 2110.5
2021Quarter 3112.3
2021Quarter 4112.7
2022Quarter 1113.3
2022Quarter 2116.3
2022Quarter 3116
2022Quarter 4116.5
2023Quarter 1115.8

All figures in this news release are volume figures. This means that they have been adjusted for price changes.

Growing investments and public consumption

Investments in fixed assets increased by 1.1 percent in Q1 2023 compared to Q4 2022. In particular, more investments were made in construction, passenger cars, aircraft and machinery. Public consumption grew by 0.5 percent, while household consumption remained the same. Households used fewer services, but purchased more goods.

Exports of goods and services fell by 1.8 percent compared to Q4 2022. This is due to a decrease in the export of goods. Exports of services grew slightly. Imports of goods and services declined as well (by 1.3 percent), but less rapidly than exports. On balance, the trade balance made a negative contribution to growth in Q1. Furthermore, natural gas withdrawals from storage facilities were greater. This also contributed to the contraction.

Expenditure (volume)
 2023-I (quarter-on-quarter % change)2022-IV (quarter-on-quarter % change)
Fixed capital formation1.10.7
Government consumption0.51.2
Household consumption01.1

Construction sector grew the fastest

In over half of the sectors, value added (the difference between production and consumption of energy, materials and services) decreased in Q1 2023 compared to Q4 2022. The sharpest decline was seen in mining and quarrying, where less natural gas was extracted. The sector trade, accommodation and food services, transport and storage, however, contributed the most to contraction in Q1. The value added of the construction sector increased the most of all sectors, by 2.4 percent. Construction also made the largest positive contribution to the economic development.

Value added by sector (volume)
 2023-I (quarter-on-quarter % change)2022-IV (quarter-on-quarter % change)
Electricity and gas supply1.6-2.8
Agriculture, forestry and fishing1-1.2
Real estate activities11.4
Public services, education and care0.30.6
Business services-0.30.3
Financial institutions-0.5-2.1
Water supply and waste management-0.8-3.5
Trade, transportation, accommodation and food serving-1.10
Information and communication-1.90
Culture, recreation, other services-4.50.3
Mining and quarrying-28.52.7

European Union economy grew by 0.3 percent

The 0.7-percent contraction in the Netherlands stands out compared to the economic development in neighbouring European countries. The economies of Belgium and France grew by 0.4 and 0.2 percent, respectively. The economy of the United Kingdom grew by 0.1 percent, while the German economy stagnated at 0-percent growth. Average growth in the European Union (EU) amounted to 0.3 percent. Compared to the fourth quarter of 2019, the recovery of the Dutch economy is stronger than that of neighbouring countries and the EU.

GDP (seasonally and calendar adjusted), international
   Netherlands (Q4 2019 = 100)Belgium (Q4 2019 = 100)EU (Q4 2019 = 100)France (Q4 2019 = 100)Germany (Q4 2019 = 100)UK (Q4 2019 = 100)
2019Quarter 4100100100100100100
2020Quarter 198.697.197.194.598.697.4
2020Quarter 290.88686.381.689.277
2020Quarter 396.596.296.296.797.389.7
2020Quarter 496.395.796.295.897.990.8
2021Quarter 196.797.196.495.996.489.8
2021Quarter 2100.198.898.296.998.395.7
2021Quarter 3101.8101.1100.4100.199.197.4
2021Quarter 4102.1101.7101.1100.79998.8
2022Quarter 1102.7102.3101.8100.4100.199.3
2022Quarter 2105.4102.8102.610199.999.4
2022Quarter 3105.2103.2103101.1100.499.3
2022Quarter 4105.6103.2102.8101.199.999.4
2023Quarter 1104.9103.6103.1101.399.999.5

The rest of this news release deals with economic development relative to Q1 2022.

GDP 1.9 percent up on Q1 2022

The economy grew by 1.9 percent in Q1 2023 relative to Q1 2022. This was mainly due to more investments and higher household and public consumption. The trade balance made a negative contribution.

In the first quarter of 2022, a hard lockdown was in place until 25 January. Even after that, for example, the sectors accommodation and food services and recreation and culture were still affected by a number of coronavirus measures, such as COVID admission tickets and limited opening hours.

GDP (volume)
2016Quarter 12.1
2016Quarter 22.3
2016Quarter 32.1
2016Quarter 42.2
2017Quarter 13.2
2017Quarter 23
2017Quarter 32.8
2017Quarter 42.6
2018Quarter 12.6
2018Quarter 22.7
2018Quarter 32.2
2018Quarter 41.9
2019Quarter 11.8
2019Quarter 21.9
2019Quarter 32.1
2019Quarter 42
2020Quarter 1-0.1
2020Quarter 2-8.7
2020Quarter 3-3.3
2020Quarter 4-3.3
2021Quarter 1-2.2
2021Quarter 210.2
2021Quarter 35.4
2021Quarter 46.2
2022Quarter 16.3
2022Quarter 25.2
2022Quarter 33.4
2022Quarter 43.2
2023Quarter 11.9

First estimate

The first estimate is published 45 days after the end of a quarter and is conducted based on information available at that moment. It provides an initial picture of the state of the Dutch economy. After the first estimate, new data continue to pour in which are used to make new calculations. The second estimate on economic growth will be released on Friday 23 June. In absolute terms, the adjustment of the second estimate relative to the first estimate averaged nearly 0.1 percentage point over the five-year period 2018-2022, with the two extremes ranging between -0.3 and 0.7 percentage point, both occurring in 2021.

With each new estimate, CBS also determines the new seasonally adjusted figures on previously published quarters. The growth figures, including those for the four quarters of 2022, have been adjusted.