SINT MAARTEN/THE NETHERLANDS – The Dutch economy grew by 7.7% in the third quarter of this year compared with the previous quarter, the highest quarterly growth ever recorded, national statistics agency CBS said on Friday.
Although the bounce back has alleviated much of the damage caused by the coronavirus pandemic, GDP is still down three percentage points on the start of the year, the CBS said.
The economy contracted 1.5% in the first quarter, and 8.5% in the second. The end of the lockdown in the summer boosted third quarter growth, with shops reporting record sales.
‘Money which would normally have been spent on holidays was spent in the high street,’ CBS chief economist Peter Hein van Mulligen told broadcaster NOS.
Consumer spending in the third quarter rose 9.4% on the second quarter, and accounted for more than half the increase. Government spending also rose 6.3%.
Indeed, the billions of euros the government has pumped into companies has also prevented bankruptcies and record job losses, Van Mulligen said. The Netherlands’ performance in Q3 is slightly better than the EU average, but this is likely to be because the Dutch lockdown was not as strict as in some countries, Van Mulligen said.