Netherlands: Economic growth slows less than previously expected in Q1
June 24, 2015
In the first quarter of 2015, GDP increased 0.6% in seasonally-adjusted terms over the previous quarter, according to more detailed data released by Statistics Netherlands on 24 June. The reading came in above both the preliminary estimate and market expectations of a milder 0.4% increase. However, the reading marked a slowdown compared to the stronger 0.9% expansion recorded in Q4 of last year. According to Statistics Netherlands, Q1’s moderation resulted from softer private consumption and fixed investment growth.
Private consumption in Q1 grew 0.6% over the previous quarter, which came in below the 0.8% increase observed in Q4. Fixed investment growth slowed from a 3.3% rise in Q4 to a 1.1% expansion in Q1. By contrast, government consumption rebounded from Q4’s 0.6% contraction to a 0.4% increase in Q1.
On the external front, growth in exports of goods and services rose from 0.9% in Q4 to 1.1% in Q1. Conversely, imports of goods and services decelerated, growing a meager 0.1% in Q1 (Q4: +0.6% quarter-on-quarter). As a result, the external sector’s net contribution to overall economic growth improved from 0.3 percentage points in Q4 to 0.8 percentage points in Q1, the best reading since Q2 2011.
Compared to the same quarter last year, the economy grew 2.5% in Q1, which was up from Q4’s 1.6% expansion.