Economic contraction 0.3 percent in Q2 2023

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© ANP / Peter Hilz
According to the first quarterly estimate conducted by Statistics Netherlands (CBS), in Q2 2023 the volume of gross domestic product (GDP) fell by 0.3 percent relative to the previous quarter. In Q1 2023, GDP fell by 0.4 percent. The contraction in Q2 is mainly due to a decrease in the trade balance and in household consumption.

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

GDP (volume), seasonally adjusted
YearQuarterIndex (2015=100)
2017Quarter 1104
2017Quarter 2104.9
2017Quarter 3105.6
2017Quarter 4106.4
2018Quarter 1106.9
2018Quarter 2107.6
2018Quarter 3107.8
2018Quarter 4108.3
2019Quarter 1109.2
2019Quarter 2109.5
2019Quarter 3109.7
2019Quarter 4110.4
2020Quarter 1108.9
2020Quarter 299.8
2020Quarter 3106.2
2020Quarter 4106.8
2021Quarter 1108.1
2021Quarter 2111.5
2021Quarter 3113.6
2021Quarter 4114.5
2022Quarter 1115.1
2022Quarter 2117.2
2022Quarter 3117
2022Quarter 4118
2023Quarter 1117.5
2023Quarter 2117.2

Trade balance and household consumption are falling

Exports fell by 0.7 percent compared to Q1 2023. This was due to a decrease in exports of goods; service exports actually increased. Imports of goods and services increased by 0.5 percent. As a result, the trade balance contributed most negatively to the contraction in the second quarter.

In addition, household consumption fell by 1.6 percent. On the other hand, investments in fixed assets increased by 1.3 percent in Q2 2023 relative to Q1. This was due in part to more investments in transport equipment and machinery. Investments in residential property fell. Public consumption grew by 0.7 percent.

Expenditure (volume)
 2023-II (quarter-on-quarter % change)2023-I (quarter-on-quarter % change)
Fixed capital formation1.32.7
Government consumption0.70.4
Household consumption-1.6-0.2

Contraction mostly in trade, accommodation and food services, and transportation and storage

In over half of the sectors, value added (production minus intermediate consumption of energy, materials and services) declined in Q2 2023 compared to Q1. The decline was strongest in mining and quarrying. However, the sectors trade, accommodation and food services, and transportation and storage made the largest negative contributions to economic development. The strongest increase in value added was recorded in the energy sector.

Value added by sector (volume)
 2023-II (quarter-on-quarter % change)2023-I (quarter-on-quarter % change)
Electricity and gas supply8.43.2
Culture, recreation, other services6.1-5.6
Business services0.8-0.3
Public services, education and care0.80.6
Financial institutions0.2-2.4
Real estate activities0.10.9
Information and communication-0.40.2
Water supply and waste management-1.5-1.3
Trade, transportation, accommodation and food serving-2-1.4
Agriculture, forestry and fishing-4.11.8
Mining and quarrying-10.9-25

Economic growth in the European Union stagnating

The 0.3-percent contraction in the Netherlands stands out compared to the economic development in neighbouring European countries. In France and Belgium, the economy grew by 0.5 and 0.2 percent respectively in Q2 2023 compared to the previous quarter. The German economy stagnated, with a growth of 0 percent. On average, GDP in the European Union (EU) remained the same as in the previous quarter. The British economy grew by 0.2 percent. However, compared to pre-pandemic Q4 2019, economic recovery was stronger in the Netherlands than in neighbouring countries and across 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 198.797.197.194.798.297.4
2020Quarter 290.48686.482.389.276.9
2020Quarter 396.
2020Quarter 496.895.796.29697.990.8
2021Quarter 19897.196.696.196.689.8
2021Quarter 210198.898.49798.895.7
2021Quarter 3103101.1100.599.899.597.4
2021Quarter 4103.8101.7101.2100.499.598.8
2022Quarter 1104.3102.3102100.3100.599.3
2022Quarter 2106.2102.8102.6100.8100.399.4
2022Quarter 3106103.2103101100.799.3
2022Quarter 4107103.2102.9101.1100.399.4
2023Quarter 1106.5103.6103.1101.2100.299.5
2023Quarter 2106.2103.8103.1101.7100.299.8

The rest of this news release deals with economic development relative to Q2 2022.

GDP 0.3 percent down on Q2 2022

Year on year, GDP contracted by 0.3 percent in Q2 2023. It is the first contraction in over two consecutive years. The contraction in Q2 2023 is mainly due to the decreasing balance of trade. Exports of goods and services dropped a fraction, while imports of goods and services grew by more than 1 percent.

GDP (volume)
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 1-0.3
2020Quarter 2-8.8
2020Quarter 3-3.3
2020Quarter 4-2.9
2021Quarter 1-1.1
2021Quarter 211.8
2021Quarter 36.9
2021Quarter 47.4
2022Quarter 16.4
2022Quarter 25.2
2022Quarter 33
2022Quarter 42.9
2023Quarter 11.9
2023Quarter 2-0.3

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 22 September. 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 for Q1 2023 and the first three quarters of 2022, among others, have been adjusted.