Economic growth hits seven-year high

The chilly summer and autumn helped the Dutch economy to grow 4.1% in the third quarter of this year, the highest figure in seven years, says national statistics office CBS.

The credit crisis, the problems in the US housing market and the drop in share prices have all failed to have an impact on the actual economy, the CBS said.
In addition, the continuing decline in unemployment levels and the sharp increase in wages expected next year means the economy will continue to boom, the CBS said.
CBS economist Michiel Vergeer told the Volkskrant that the increase is probably a one-off, boosted by gas production which was up 25% in the last quarter thanks to the chilly early autumn.
The wholesale, construction and temporary employment sectors also contributed strongly, the CBS said. Exports, including gas, were up 7.5% year on year.
Family spending was also a contributing factor, with outgoings up 2.4% on a year ago. The increase in consumer spending is notable, given that consumer confidence at the end of the summer fell sharply. Extra government spending on healthcare was also a factor in the record figures.
Over the year as a whole, the economy has grown 3%, more than the 2.75% forecast by the government’s economic policy unit CPB. Excluding gas sales, third-quarter growth would have been 3.5%.

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