Netherlands: Economy improves in the final quarter of 2010
February 15, 2011
In the fourth quarter, GDP increased a seasonally adjusted 0.6% over the previous quarter, according to data released by Statistics Netherlands (CBS, Centraal Bureau voor de Statistiek). The result came in above the 0.1% increase registered in the third quarter (previously reported, Q3: -0.1% quarter-on-quarter) and exceeded market expectations of a 0.4% expansion. On an annual basis, the economy grew 2.4% in Q4, up from the 1.8% increase recorded in the third quarter. As a result, the Dutch economy expanded 1.7% in the full year 2010 (2009: -3.9%), suggesting that the economic recovery is now fully entrenched. External demand drove economic growth in the fourth quarter, as exports accelerated to 2.1% over the previous quarter (Q3: +1.9% qoq). Imports bounced back from a 0.5% contraction in Q3 to a 1.2% increase in Q4. As a result, the net contribution from the external sector to overall economic growth deteriorated from 2.1 percentage points in the third quarter to 0.9 percentage points in the fourth. A higher growth dynamic was boosted by improvements within the domestic sector. Private consumption grew at a faster pace and increased 0.6% over the previous quarter (Q3: +0.1% qoq) and gross fixed investment rebounded from a 1.7% drop in the third quarter, to a 0.2% increase in the fourth quarter.