Netherlands: Economy decelerates in Q1
May 18, 2015
In the first quarter of 2015, GDP increased 0.4% in seasonally-adjusted terms over the previous quarter, according to data released by Statistics Netherlands on 18 May. The reading came in below market expectations of a 0.5% increase and marked a slowdown compared to the strong 0.8% expansion recorded in Q4 2014, which had marked the largest gain since Q1 2011. According to Statistics Netherlands, Q1’s moderation came on the back of decelerations in private consumption and fixed investment.
In Q1, private consumption grew 0.3% over the previous quarter, which came in below the 0.7% increase observed in Q4. Conversely, government consumption rebounded from Q4’s 0.4% contraction to a 0.7% rise in Q1, marking the fastest expansion since September 2009. On the other hand, fixed investment growth slowed from Q4’s notable 4.6% rise to a weaker 1.9% expansion.
On the external front, growth in exports of goods and services deteriorated from a 0.4% expansion in Q4 to a 0.1% drop in Q1. Imports of goods and services also deteriorated, falling 1.0% in Q1 (Q4: +0.5% quarter-on-quarter). As the contraction of imports outpaced that of exports, the external sector’s net contribution to overall economic growth improved from zero percentage points in Q4 to plus 0.6 percentage points in Q1.
The economy grew 2.4% in Q1 over the same quarter last year, which was up from Q4’s 1.4% expansion.