Netherlands: Economy expands unexpectedly in Q2
August 14, 2012
In the second quarter, GDP rose 0.2% in seasonally adjusted terms over the previous quarter. The reading was unchanged from the 0.2% expansion recorded in the previous quarter and contrasted market expectations, which had anticipated the economy contracting 0.3%. On an annual basis, the economy contracted 0.5%, up from the 0.8% drop registered in the first quarter. Economic growth came on the back of a stronger external sector, which compensated for a still depressed domestic sector. Gross fixed investment contracted 0.5% over the previous quarter, which was unchanged from the decline seen in the January-March period. Simultaneously, total consumption fell 0.3% over the previous quarter, which contrasted the 0.2% expansion seen in Q1, as private consumption fell 0.3% and government consumption was flat. On the other hand, the contribution from the external sector to overall economic growth improved from plus 0.1 percentage points in Q1 to 0.4 percentage points, as exports outpaced imports. Exports of goods and services inched up from a 2.0% expansion in the first quarter to a 2.1% increase in the second, while imports decelerated from a 2.1% rise in the first quarter to a 1.8% expansion.