Compared to the fourth quarter of 2017, output rose faster for household spending (1.7 percent after showing no growth in Q4) and fixed investment (2.3 percent from 0.3 percent). Meanwhile, government spending (0.1 percent vs 0.3 percent) and changes in inventories (0.1 percent after no growth in Q4) contributed little to the expansion. Meantime, net external trade contributed negatively to growth as exports declined 0.1 percent (1.3 percent in Q4) while imports went up 0.9 percent (1.1 percent in Q4).
Year-on-year, the Dutch economy grew by 2.8 percent in the first quarter of 2018, easing slightly from a 2.9 percent expansion in the previous period. Growth was primarily driven by fixed investment (6.2 percent, the same pace as in Q4) and household expenditure (3.2 percent vs 1.0 percent) which rose the most in over 17 years. Also, public spending advanced more (1.4 percent vs 0.9 percent). Meanwhile, net external trade contributed negatively to growth for the first time in more than two years, as imports jumped 4.7 percent (6.3 percent in Q4) and exports increased at a slower 3.6 percent (7.0 percent in Q4).