Exports much more important for Dutch economy

In the period 2010-2013, the contribution of exports to the GDP has grown considerably. In 2013, exports contributed 32.4 percent to the GDP, i.e. 3 percentage points more than in 2010 as the Internationalisation Monitor published by Statistics Netherlands shows.

In the period 2010-2013, the contribution of exports to the Dutch economy has risen by 3 percentage points to 32.4 percent. Such a substantial growth rate has not occurred in the period 1988-2010. The contribution of exports has never been so high. During the period 2003-2008, the contribution of exports also increased gradually, but slumped worldwide in recession year 2009. In the period 2010-2013, exports picked up and the contribution of exports to the GDP grew rapidly.

Consumption and investments declined during the period 2010-2013. Nevertheless, GDP figures improved due to export growth. If the value of exports would have grown at the same rate as the value of domestic expenditure, the value for the Netherlands would have been 24 billion euros lower, i.e. 1.5 thousand euros per capita.

Foreign economies grow faster than Dutch economy
The five countries which are the Netherlands’ most important export destinations, all had better economic growth rates than the Netherlands in the period 2010-2013. Therefore, the demand for Dutch goods and services (Dutch exports) in these countries will probably have grown faster than in the Netherlands.

Broad-based growth
Earnings from exports increased most in the sector mineral extraction. Trade, transport and business services showed lower growth figures, but – on account of their size – they nevertheless made a substantial contribution to total growth. These sectors earn from exports because they provide support services to export companies. The sectors immovable property and financial services, on the other hand, showed contraction. Due to the poor economic situation, exporting companies are less likely to opt for a new location or expansion. This also had a negative effect on estate agencies. Banks supplied fewer services abroad.

Exports also vital for employment
Exports accounted for an employment growth by more than 140 thousand full-time jobs to 2.1 million full-time jobs, but total employment declined, so the contribution of exports to total employment grew. Exports contributed most to employment in trade and business services.

Export growth does not always trigger economic growth
The contribution of exports to the Dutch economy is not defined by the value of exports, but the profit, i.e. after deduction of the value of imported goods needed for exports.
Whether export growth, as was the case in November 2014, also triggers economic growth largely depends on the volume of goods companies need for their exports. For example, re-exports of previously imported goods, e.g. clothes and mobile phones, contribute far less to the economy than exports of products manufactured or extracted in the Netherlands, like natural gas.

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