Dutch economic growth slows to 2.5% last year but is still ‘solid’

The Dutch economy grew 2.5% last year, a slowdown on the 2.9% recorded in 2017 and slightly below earlier estimates, the national statistics office CBS said on Thursday.

Growth in 2018 was mainly due to higher consumer spending and investments, the CBS said. The trade balance also contributed, but to a lesser degree than in 2017.

Consumer spending rose 2.5% last year, boosted by sales of cars and electrical appliances as well as services – especially hotels and restaurants, travel and communication.

Economic affairs minister Eric Wiebes said the growth prospects for this year and beyond are ‘all in all’ solid. ‘We may be over the high point but there is always a lot to experience after the peak,’ he said at the presentation of the figures.

A string of economists had put last year’s growth at around 2.6%. This year, growth is set drop to between 1.7% and 2%, depending on the economic institute.

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