Netherlands: Economy picks up modestly in Q4
February 14, 2014
In the fourth quarter, GDP grew 0.7% in seasonally-adjusted terms over the previous quarter according to the first estimate released by Statistics Netherlands on 14 February. The reading beat market expectations of a 0.3% increase and marked an improvement over the 0.3% growth recorded in Q3. This is the third consecutive quarter of modest growth and is the highest growth rate that has been recorded in three years. In the full year 2013, GDP contracted 0.8%, which was up from the 1.3% contraction registered in 2012.
On the domestic side, gross fixed investment rose 4.7% over the previous quarter (Q3: +2.6% quarter-on-quarter). Private consumption increased a modest 0.1% in the fourth quarter (Q3: -0.4% qoq) and government consumption remained at the flat reading tallied in the previous quarter.
On the external front, exports of goods and services inched down from a 0.1% fall in Q3 to a 0.2% decrease in Q4. Imports of goods and services jumped from flat growth in Q3 to a 0.4% increase in Q4. Consequently, the external sector's net contribution to overall economic growth declined from minus 0.1 percentage points in Q3 to minus 0.5 percentage points in Q4.
The Dutch Central Bank expects GDP to expand 0.5% in 2014 and sees growth picking up to 0.9% in 2015. For 2014, FocusEconomics Consensus Forecast panelists see GDP growing 0.5%, which is unchanged from last month's projection. For 2015, the panel expects the economy to expand 1.1%.
Author: Carl Kelly, Economist