Dutch economy expands 2.1 percent last year, strongest growth since 2008


The Dutch economy grew by 2.1 percent in 2016, the strongest growth since 2008, the Dutch Central Statistics Bureau CBS announced on Tuesday.

Compared to the third quarter of 2016, the economy in the fourth quarter grew by 0.5 percent. This was mainly driven by exports and growing consumption.

The economy has showed growth for 11 consecutive quarters now. Compared to the fourth quarter of 2015, the fourth-quarter growth of 2016 was 2.3 percent.

“The Dutch economy has been growing powerfully for three years now,” commented Dutch minister of economic affairs Henk Kamp in a statement, referring to the growth rates of 2.0 percent in 2015 and 1.4 percent in 2014.

Employment in the fourth quarter experienced the biggest growth in five years and because of this, the year 2016 experienced a sharp fall in unemployment.

In the fourth quarter of 2016 around 5.5 percent of the Dutch workforce was unemployed, a total of 487,000 people.

“Unemployment dropped the most in ten years, the number of jobs increased, consumers spent more, Dutch companies exported more and the value of nearly all industries increased,” said Kamp.

“Economically, 2016 was a year we can be proud of. The future looks good; we face challenges, but we can handle them,” he said.

Looking at the international horizon, Kamp also addressed the risks, such as the Brexit negotiations and the future direction of United States administration.

“Although the Dutch economy has shown resilience, we must continue to work towards a strong position of the Dutch industry and services in international markets,” Kamp said. Enditem

Source: Xinhua/NewsGhana.com.gh

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