Dutch economy continues steady recovery
The Dutch economy continued its steady growth for the 8th quarter in a row. In the first quarter of 2016 the economy grew 0.5 percent compared to the previous quarter and 1.4 percent compared to the first quarter of last year, according to Statistics Netherlands' preliminary calculations.
The first quarter's economic growth was broadly supported with consumption, investment and exports all making a positive contribution. The decrease in natural gas extraction had a negative effect on the growth, as it did in previous quarters.
Investments in vehicles and homes grew substantially in the first quarter. Companies spent significantly more on trucks, trailers, and other forms on transports. Companies also spent more on computers and software than a year ago. According to to Statistics Netherlands, this is in line with the positive business confidence, which reached the highest point in four and a half years during this quarter.
Exports grew the same amount in the first quarter of 2016 than in the last quarter of 2015. Dutch companies exported significantly more transport means than a year earlier. While export of gas, machinery and equipment shrank.
Consumers also spent more in the first quarter than in the same period last year. They spent more on services such as restaurants and hairdressers as well as on products including electrical appliances, food and home decor. Consumer confidence has been almost continuously positive since February 2015.