Dutch economy nudges up despite gas production slowdown

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The Dutch economy is slowly improving, despite the reduction in gas extraction from Groningen. In the second quarter of this year the economy was 1.6 percent stronger than in the same period last year.

This is according to Statistics Netherlands' first calculations, which is done 45 days after the end of a quarter based on the available information.

Both business investment and consumer spending showed sharp improvements in the second quarter. Consumer confidence is at its highest point in eight years and consumers are spending significantly more on electrical appliances and furniture.

There was growth in almost all sectors. The only exceptions being agriculture, horticulture and mining. The mining sector declined sharply, mostly due to the reduction of gas production in Groningen. Minister Henk Kamp of Economic Affairs decided to slow down the gas extraction in an effort to prevent the risk of earthquakes.

The lower gas extraction also meant that the quarter to quarter growth of the economy was only 0.1 percent. But according to Statistics Netherlands, the trend is still very positive.

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