Dutch economy sees lowest quarterly growth in two years

Economic growth in the Netherlands dropped considerably in the third quarter. Compared to the second quarter, the economy grew by only 0.2 percent between start July and end September - the lowest quarterly growth in the past two years, Statistics Netherlands reported on Wednesday.

Peter Hein van Mulligen, chief economist at the stats office, points out that the Dutch economy has been growing strong for several quarters in a row. "It is no surprise that there is a lesser quarter every once in a while", he said, according to NU.nl. Compared to the third quarter of 2017, the economy grew by 2.4 percent.

The decreased growth can largely be attributed to lower expenditure on construction. Less was invested in homes and infrastructure in the third quarter. According to Van Mulligen, the construction sector caught up considerably since the financial crisis and recorded substantial growth figures. Now the growth seems to be returning to pre-crisis levels.

Consumer spending increased by 2 percent in the third quarter compared to the same quarter last year - the 18th consecutive quarter consumer spending was higher than the previous year. More was spent on electronics, transport and in the hospitality industry.

There was again an increase in employment opportunities, making the labor market as tense as it was ten years ago, just before the crisis started. At the end of September the Netherlands counted 262 thousand open vacancies, 11 thousand more than in the second quarter. There were also 60 thousand new jobs and the number of unemployed persons decreased by 6 thousand.