Dutch economy expanded by 3.1% last year, highest in 10 years

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The Dutch economy expanded by 3.1% in 2017, the highest growth rate in 10 years, the national statistics office CBS reported on Wednesday.

The biggest growth spurt was in 2007, when gross domestic product gained 3.7%, the CBS said. The expansion last year was on a broad front, with investments, exports and consumption all registering increases.

Investments in 2017 were 6% higher than in the previous year. Significantly more money was pumped into housing, with gains posted also in machinery, plants, cars and company buildings, the CBS said.

The export of goods and services was 5% higher boosted by machinery and equipment. Chemical product exports were also up on the previous year.  Re-exports were higher than exports of Dutch goods while imports increased by 4.9% year-on-year.

Domestic consumption was 1.8% higher than in 2016, with sales of clothing,  home furnishings and electrical equipment heading the list. More money was also spent on catering, recreation and culture in the Netherlands. Car sales were lower than in 2016, the CBS said.

The increase in consumer sales was in line with increased employment and further recovery of the housing market. Nearly 250,000 existing housing units changed hands last year.

The Dutch central bank said in December that GDP grew by 3.3% in 2017 and in June the CBS also forecast 3.3% growth.

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