Netherlands: Dutch economy gains momentum in first quarter on consumption and exports
May 13, 2016
Dutch economic growth picked up in the first quarter of the year on the back of stronger private consumption and public spending, along with an improvement in the external sector. Conversely, fixed investment weakened compared to Q4. GDP expanded at the fastest pace in a year, increasing 0.5% in seasonally-adjusted terms over the previous quarter, according to preliminary data released by Statistics Netherlands on 13 May. The reading marked an acceleration over Q4’s 0.3% expansion and was in line with market expectations.
In Q1, private consumption growth accelerated from the flat reading recorded in Q4 to a 0.4% increase, which represented the fasted growth in four quarters. Government consumption rebounded from a 0.3% contraction in Q4 to a 0.5% rise in Q1. Conversely, fixed investment deteriorated, slowing from Q4’s 2.8% expansion to slower 0.4% growth in Q1.
On the external front, growth in exports of goods and services decelerated from a 1.9% expansion in Q4 to a somewhat weaker 1.6% rise in Q1. Imports of goods and services dropped from Q4’s 2.3% increase to a smaller 1.7% expansion in Q1. As imports slowed more than exports, the external sector’s net contribution to overall economic growth advanced from minus 0.1 percentage points in Q4 to plus 0.1 percentage points in Q1, tallying the first positive contribution to GDP growth in a year.
The economy grew 1.5% in Q1 over the same quarter last year, which was a notch down from Q4’s 1.6% expansion.