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Revised GDP data confirms moderate slowdown in Netherlands

Staff Writer |
The Netherlands’ economy slowed in the final quarter of 2016, on the back of weaker private consumption and falling fixed investment.

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Conversely, both government consumption and the external sector’s contribution to growth improved compared to Q3.

GDP grew a revised 0.6% in seasonally-adjusted terms over the previous quarter (previously reported: +0.5% quarter-on-quarter), according to revised data released by Statistics Netherlands, decelerating from Q3’s 0.8% expansion, but nonetheless marking the eleventh consecutive quarter of growth.

The economy grew a revised 2.5% in Q3 over the same quarter last year (previously reported: +2.3% year-on-year), which matched Q3’s reading, bringing the growth rate for 2016 as a whole to a revised 2.2% (previously reported: +2.1%).

In Q4, private consumption growth decelerated from the 1.0% recorded in Q3 to a 0.7% increase. Moreover, fixed investment deteriorated from the 0.2% drop recorded in the third quarter to a 2.5% fall, an almost four-year low.

On the upside, government consumption gained steam, swinging from the 0.1% contraction in Q3 to a 0.6% expansion in Q4.

On the external front, growth in exports of goods and services accelerated, recording a 0.9% expansion, slightly down from the 1.0% growth observed in Q3. Growth in imports of goods and services decelerated from Q3’s 0.9% to 0.4% in Q4.

Consequently, the external sector’s net contribution to overall economic growth in Q4 was 0.5 percentage points, up from Q3’s 0.2 percentage points and marking the largest net contribution in two and a half years.

For 2017, FocusEconomics Consensus Forecast panelists see GDP growing 1.8%, which is unchanged from last month’s projection. For 2018, the panel expects the economy to expand 1.7%.

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