Netherlands Q1 GDP growth revised up slightly in second estimate
Detailed data released by Statistics Netherlands (CBS) confirmed that in the first quarter the economy grew chiefly on the back of solid domestic demand.
Private consumption gained considerable steam in the quarter on tight labor market conditions, rising wages and subdued inflation, expanding 1.5% quarter-on-quarter (Q4 2017: +0.2% quarter-on-quarter).
Fixed investment strongly rebounded amid favorable financing conditions and upbeat business confidence, logging a 2.7% increase over the previous quarter and contrasting the 1.1% drop in the fourth quarter of last year.
Government consumption growth also strengthened somewhat, from 0.2% in Q4 to 0.4% in Q1.
The external sector, meanwhile, dragged on growth, weighed down by cooling demand from the EU: Exports contracted 0.6% (Q4: +1.1% qoq), while imports continued to grow, albeit at a more moderate pace than in the previous quarter (Q1: +0.5% qoq; Q4: +0.9% qoq).
A year-on-year comparison showed that the economy accelerated marginally, expanding a revised 2.8% (previously reported: +3.0% year-on-year) in the first quarter compared to the revised 2.7% increase logged in the prior quarter (previously reported: +3.1% yoy).
The government expects the economy to grow 3.2% in 2018 and 2.7% in 2019.
FocusEconomics Consensus Forecast panelists, however, see GDP growing 2.8% in 2018, which is up 0.1 percentage points from last month’s projection. For 2019, the panel expects the economy to expand 2.2%. ■