Netherlands: Dutch economy gains steam in Q4 and 2015 as a whole
February 12, 2016
Dutch economic growth picked up in the final quarter of 2015 on the back of strong fixed investment and a slight improvement in the external sector, which more than offset sluggish household and public spending. GDP increased 0.3% in seasonally-adjusted terms over the previous quarter, according to preliminary data released by Statistics Netherlands on 12 February. The reading marked an acceleration over Q3’s 0.1% expansion and was in line with market expectations.
Full-year GDP growth almost doubled from 1.0% in 2014 to 1.9% in 2015. Statistics Netherlands noted that full-year growth would have been approximately 0.4 percentage points higher if natural gas production had not been reduced. Safety concerns related to gas extraction prompted the government to limit production last year.
In Q4, fixed investment accelerated notably, from Q3’s 0.8% quarter-on-quarter expansion to a 3.3% rise. Conversely, private consumption growth deteriorated from the flat reading recorded in Q3 to a 0.1% drop in Q4 and government consumption swung from Q3’s 0.3% increase de a 0.4% decline in Q4.
On the external front, growth in exports of goods and services slowed slightly from a 0.3% expansion in Q3 to a weaker 0.2% rise in Q4. Imports of goods and services dropped from Q3’s 0.9% increase to a smaller 0.5% expansion in Q4. As imports slowed more than exports, the external sector’s net contribution to overall economic growth advanced from minus 0.3 percentage points in Q3 to minus 0.1 percentage points in Q4.
The economy grew 1.6% in Q4 over the same quarter of the previous year, which was down from Q3’s 1.9% expansion.