Dutch economy still growing, disposable income lagging behind

The Dutch economy grew by 3.2 percent last year, and more people in the Netherlands had work than ever before. Despite this, the growth in net disposable income is still lagging behind, Statistics Netherlands reported on Tuesday.

In 2017 net real disposable income - the amount Dutch have left to spend after all premiums and taxes were deducted, corrected for inflation - grew by 1.5 percent. This was the third year in a row that Dutch had more to spend. But the growth is small compared to the 3.2 percent growth in the Netherlands gross domestic product. 

According to Statistics Netherlands, this can be explained by the so-called labor income share - the part of the total added value of labor that is paid out as wages. In 2017 this amounted to 75 cents per euro paid, compared to 78 cents at the start of this century. 

The growth in disposable income in the Netherlands also lagged behind that in surrounding countries last year. 

Last year more people had work in the Netherlands than ever before, according to the stats office. The number of unemployed fell by a record 100 thousand and the number of vacancies were at an all time high. Last year the Netherlands counted 1.8 unemployed against each vacancy. By way of comparison, at the low point of the financial crisis in mid 2013, there were more than six unemployed people for every vacancy. 

For the third year in a row, the Netherlands saw a stronger GDP growth than its neighboring countries. Though the decline in the Netherlands from 2011 was also deeper and lasted longer. Compared to 2009, the Dutch economy grew by 11 percents - slightly less than the EU average of 13 percent. With this growth, the Netherlands' economy performed better than France and Belgium. But worse than Germany, which saw 18 percent growth since 2009.