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Netherlands economic growth of 1.9 percent in Q3 2021

Christian Fernsby |
According to the first estimate conducted by Statistics Netherlands (CBS), gross domestic product (GDP) grew by 1.9 percent in Q3 2021 relative to the previous quarter.

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This economic growth was mainly due to increased household consumption. Public consumption also made a positive contribution to growth, but investments decreased. In Q3 2021, GDP was higher than its pre pandemic level for the first time.

Households spent 3.8 percent more in Q3 than in Q2 2021. Public consumption grew as well, by 0.7 percent. Exports and imports of goods and services increased by 1.3 and 1.6 percent, respectively. Investments were down by 2.7 percent.

In particular, the sector trade, transportation and accommodation and food services, the sector business services and the sector government, education and care made positive contributions to the quarter on quarter economic growth. However, construction and manufacturing contributed negatively.

Impact of the coronavirus crisis on the first estimate

Due to the coronavirus crisis, the growth figures are surrounded by greater uncertainty than usual during a first estimate.

GDP 5.0 percent up on Q3 2020

According to the first estimate, GDP was up by 5.0 percent relative to Q3 2020. Household consumption and the trade balance were higher in particular. Investments and public consumption also made a positive contribution to growth.

Compared to two years ago, GDP was 2.3 percent larger in Q3 2021. This is due to the trade balance and public consumption.

Consumers spent more on accommodation and food services, recreation and culture

In Q3 2021, consumers spent 5.0 percent more than in Q3 2020. They spent mainly more on accommodation and food services, recreation and culture, transportation and communication, and clothing.

Accommodation and food services were accessible again until midnight. Sport activities were also held in the third quarter and the public was allowed to attend. Small scale events were allowed and museums and amusement parks were able to receive visitors again.

Public consumption grew by 2.2 percent year on year, mainly due to additional spending on COVID 19 testing and vaccinations by municipal health services (GGDs).

More investments in machinery and dwellings

In Q3 2021, the volume of investments in fixed assets was 2.3 percent up on the same quarter last year. Investments were mainly up in machinery and dwellings. Investments in software and R&D were also higher than one year previously. Investments in passenger cars, on the other hand, were lower.

More machinery, chemical and metal products exported

Exports of goods and services in Q3 2021 were 7.2 percent up year on year. More machinery, chemical and metal products were exported in particular. Exports of Dutch manufactured goods were over 4 percent higher, while re exports (the export of previously imported products) grew by almost 11 percent. Exports of services were also higher than in the third quarter of 2020. This is mainly due to airline services, royalties and licences, travel agency services, transport support services and commission trade.

Imports of goods and services grew by 6.0 percent. The trade balance made a positive contribution to economic growth.

The value added (i.e. output minus consumption of energy, materials and services) in the business services sector saw the strongest growth, at 11.1 percent. Specialised business services (including research and consulting firms), temporary employment and travel services contributed to this in particular. The value added of temporary employment and travel services was still lower than two years previously.

The value added in trade, transportation and accommodation and food services was 7.6 percent higher in Q3 2021 than twelve months previously. The transportation and trade sectors grew in particular. Accommodation and food services also showed growth. The value added in transportation and accommodation and food services was still lower compared to two years previously.

The manufacturing industry grew by almost 6 percent. The machinery, metal, electrotechnical and chemical industries contributed to this in particular. The construction sector was up by almost 2 percent.

The value added of the care sector was 3.5 percent higher than in Q3 2020. Growth was mainly attributable to the GGDs.

The sector culture, recreation, sports and other services achieved 8.6 percent more output in Q3 2021 than twelve months previously. Growth was seen in sports, recreation, arts and culture. For this sector as well, pre coronavirus levels are still a long way off.

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