Economic growth of 0.3 percent in Q4 2023

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© CBS / Nikki van Toorn
According to the first quarterly estimate from Statistics Netherlands (CBS) based on the data currently available, in Q4 2023 gross domestic product (GDP) increased by 0.3 percent relative to the previous quarter. Following three consecutive quarters of GDP decline, the growth in Q4 can mainly be attributed to household consumption.

The release of data on Q4 means that the first annual growth figure for the whole of 2023 is now also available. Last year, GDP grew by 0.1 percent on 2022. This was mainly due to increased public consumption and investments in fixed assets.

GDP (volume), seasonally adjusted
YearQuarterIndex (2015=100)
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 2111.4
2021Quarter 3113.7
2021Quarter 4114.5
2022Quarter 1115.1
2022Quarter 2117.1
2022Quarter 3117.3
2022Quarter 4118
2023Quarter 1117.5
2023Quarter 2117
2023Quarter 3116.7
2023Quarter 4117

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

Increasing household consumption, public consumption, exports and imports

Household consumption in Q4 2023 increased by 1.8 percent compared to Q3. Adjusted for price changes, consumers spent more on durable goods, services and other goods. They spent less on food, beverages and tobacco. Public consumption grew by 0.4 percent, while investments in fixed assets decreased by 2.1 percent. This was mainly due to lower investment in homes, buildings, transport equipment and machinery.

Exports and imports of goods and services both rose by 0.3 percent compared to Q3 2023. Overall, the contribution of the trade balance to GDP growth was limited.

Expenditure (volume)
 2023-IV (quarter-on-quarter % change)2023-III (quarter-on-quarter % change)
Household consumption1.8-0.3
Government consumption0.41
Fixed capital formation-2.1-2.5

Culture, recreation and other services grew the fastest

In Q4 2023, the fastest growth in value added (the difference between the production and consumption of energy, materials and services) was in the culture, recreation, sports and other services sector, which grew by 3.0 percent compared to the previous quarter. This was followed by agriculture and fishing (2.1 percent) and manufacturing (1.3 percent). Of all sectors, manufacturing contributed the most to this growth.

Value added by sector (volume)
 2023-IV (quarter-on-quarter % change)2023-III (quarter-on-quarter % change)
Culture, recreation, other services3-2
Agriculture, forestry and fishing2.10.6
Business services0.8-0.4
Public services, education and care0.70.2
Real estate activities0.50.6
Trade, transportation, accommodation and food serving0.4-0.2
Information and communication0.1-0.4
Financial institutions-10.9
Water supply and waste management-1.41.3
Electricity and gas supply-1.5-8.1
Mining and quarrying-2.510.5

Dutch economy is growing faster than the EU average

Economic growth in the Netherlands in Q4 was higher than the average for the 27 countries of the European Union (which stood at 0.0 percent). The Belgian economy grew by 0.4 percent, while GDP in France did not grow at all. In Germany, the EU’s largest economy, GDP shrank by 0.3 percent. Meanwhile in the US, the world’s largest economy, quarterly economic growth reached 0.8 percent in Q4.

Dutch economy grew by 0.1 percent in 2023

Year on year, GDP contracted by 0.5 percent in Q4 2023. The release of the data on the fourth quarter means that the first provisional growth figure for 2023 has become available. GDP increased by 0.1 percent last year. This follows two years of higher growth: 6.2 percent in 2021 and 4.3 percent in 2022.

Public consumption contributed the most to economic growth in 2023, with an increase of 3.0 percent. Investments and consumption by households also made a positive contribution with growth of 1.8 and 0.4 percent, respectively. The contribution of the trade balance was negative: exports were 1.3 percent lower than in 2022 and imports were 0.8 percent lower. The culture, sports, recreation and other services sector grew the fastest in 2023, at 6 percent.

Last year was the first year since 2020 without any lockdowns or measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19. In 2022, there was a strict lockdown in the Netherlands lasting until mid-January, after which society gradually reopened. The last measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19 were lifted in March 2022.

GDP (volume)

First estimate

The first estimate is published 45 days after the end of a quarter and is based on the information available at that moment. It provides an initial picture of the state of the Dutch economy. After the first estimate, new data continues to pour and this is used to make new calculations. The second estimate of economic growth will be released on Monday 25 March. On average, over the five-year period of 2018-2023, the difference between the final estimate and the first estimate was 0.1 percentage points in absolute terms, with the two extremes ranging between -0.3 and 0.7 percentage point, both of which occurred in 2021.

With each new estimate, CBS also determines the new seasonally adjusted figures for previously published quarters. The growth figures for the previous three quarters of 2023 were not adjusted.