Netherlands: Economy picks up in Q4; returns to full-year economic growth in 2014
March 26, 2015
In the fourth quarter of 2014, GDP increased 0.8% in seasonally-adjusted terms over the previous quarter, according to more detailed data released by Statistics Netherlands on 26 March. The reading came in above both the preliminary estimate and market expectations of a 0.5% increase. Moreover, the reading marked an improvement compared to the 0.3% expansion recorded in Q3 and the largest expansion since Q1 2011. According to Statistics Netherlands, Q4’s acceleration resulted from stronger fixed investment, private consumption, and a better performance of the external sector.
Private consumption grew 0.6% over the previous quarter, which came in above the 0.2% increase observed in Q3. Government consumption deteriorated from Q3’s 0.2% contraction to a 0.6% decline in Q4. On the other hand, fixed investment growth sped up from a 2.4% rise in Q3 to a 5.1% expansion, thus recording the fastest growth rhythm since Q1 2011.
On the external front, growth in exports of goods and services fell from 0.9% in Q3 to 0.5% in Q4. Imports of goods and services also decelerated, growing 0.7% in Q4 (Q3: +1.6% quarter-on-quarter). As a result, the external sector’s net contribution to overall economic growth advanced from minus 0.4 percentage points in Q3 to minus 0.1 percentage points in Q4.
The economy grew 1.4% in the fourth quarter over the same quarter of the previous year, which was up from Q3’s 1.0% expansion. In the full year 2014, the economy expanded 0.9%, which contrasted 2013’s 0.7% contraction and marked the first year of growth following two years of shrinking GDP.