Economy in Q1 2022 the same size as in the previous quarter

According to the first quarterly estimate conducted by Statistics Netherlands (CBS) on the basis of then available data, gross domestic product (GDP) remained virtually unchanged in Q1 2022 relative to the previous quarter. The balance of trade and the investments contributed positively to economic growth, while public consumption made a negative contribution.
Public consumption fell by 0.4 percent. Households spent 0.1 percent less than in Q4 2021. Exports and imports of goods and services decreased by 0.5 and 1.3 percent, respectively. Investments rose by 0.8 percent.

The construction sector, the business services sector and the culture, recreation, sports and other services sector made the largest positive contributions to the quarter-on-quarter GDP growth. The sector government, education and care made the most negative contribution.

Impact of the coronavirus crisis on the first estimate
Due to the coronavirus crisis, the growth figures are surrounded by greater uncertainty than usual during a first estimate.

The rest of this news release deals with economic development relative to Q1 2021.

GDP 7.0 percent up on Q1 2021
According to the first estimate, GDP was up by 7.0 percent relative to Q1 2021. Household consumption and the trade balance were higher in particular. Public consumption also made a positive contribution to year-on-year growth.

Consumers spent more on accommodation and food services, recreation and culture
In Q1 2022, consumers spent 10.6 percent more than in Q1 2021. The significant growth is partly due to the fact that consumption was at a low level last year, with a hard lockdown over the entire quarter. This year, too, the first quarter started with a lockdown, but more and more relaxations were implemented from mid-January. As a result, consumers spent more on accommodation and food services, recreation and culture, home furnishings and clothing.

Public consumption grew by 2.5 percent year on year, due for example to additional healthcare spending by the government on items such as booster vaccinations.

Volume of investments virtually unchanged
In Q1 2022, the volume of investments in fixed assets was at approximately the same level as one year previously. There was more investment in office buildings, software and R&D, but less in aircraft and dwellings.

More chemical products, machinery and services exported
Exports of goods and services in Q1 2022 were 4.7 percent up year on year. More chemical products, machinery and foodstuffs were exported in particular. Exports of services were also considerably higher than in Q1 2021. Furthermore, exports of Dutch-manufactured goods were at virtually the same level, while re-exports (exports of previously imported products) grew by almost 3 percent.

Imports of goods and services grew by 2.9 percent. The trade balance made a positive contribution to economic growth.

Growth in most sectors
The value added (i.e. output minus consumption of energy, materials and services) in the sector culture, recreation, sports and other services was more than 50 percent higher in Q1 2022 than twelve months previously, the strongest growth of all sectors. Growth was mainly seen in sports, recreation, arts and culture. It is the fourth consecutive quarter of growth for this industry, but the loss on account of coronavirus measures in the period Q1 2020 to Q1 2021 inclusive has not yet been fully recouped.

The value added in trade, transportation and accommodation and food services was 13.6 percent higher in Q1 2021 than twelve months previously. Accommodation and food services grew in particular, but the transportation and trade sectors also showed growth. In Q1 2021, accommodation and food services and aviation, suffered a lot from the hard lockdown, similar to the sector culture, sports, recreation and other services.

The value added of the business services sector grew by 10.7 percent. The largest contributions were made by management consultancies, temporary employment agencies and travel services. However, the value added of the travel industry was not yet fully recovered from the blows dealt by coronavirus.

The value added of the health care and welfare sector was almost 7 percent higher than in Q1 2021. Growth was mainly attributable to the GGZs and GGDs (booster vaccinations). Furthermore, the output of childcare centres was back at a pre-pandemic level. Last year, childcare centres were partially closed in Q1.

Manufacturing grew by nearly 6 percent. The machinery, the chemical, the metal and the electrotechnical industries contributed to this in particular. The construction sector was up by over 4 percent.