Netherlands: GDP growth moderates on lower gas extraction
August 14, 2015
In the second quarter of 2015, GDP increased 0.1% in seasonally-adjusted terms over the previous quarter, according to data released by Statistics Netherlands on 14 August. The reading came in below market expectations of a 0.2% rise and marked a slowdown compared to the 0.6% expansion recorded in Q1. In addition, the result marked the smallest expansion since Q1 of last year. According to Statistics Netherlands, Q2’s moderation mainly came on the back of a weaker external sector.
In Q2, private consumption grew 0.2% over the previous quarter, which came in below the 0.6% increase observed in Q1. Government consumption also slowed, decelerating from Q1’s 0.4% expansion to flat growth in Q2. Fixed investment growth moderated from Q1’s 2.4% rise to a weaker 2.1% expansion.
On the external front, growth in exports of goods and services slowed from a 1.1% expansion in Q1 to a slightly weaker 1.0% rise in Q2. Conversely, imports of goods and services picked up from a modest 0.3% increase in Q1 to a stronger 2.3% expansion in Q2. As the expansion of imports outpaced that of exports, the external sector’s net contribution to overall economic growth deteriorated from plus 0.7 percentage points in Q1 to minus 0.7 percentage points in Q2. According to Statistics Netherlands, this development partly resulted from lower natural gas production, as the, “government scaled down natural gas extraction to reduce the risk of earthquakes in the province of Groningen,” which led to lower natural gas exports and a rise in imports.
The economy grew 1.6% in Q2 over the same quarter last year, which was down from Q1’s 2.5% expansion.