Consumer spending fell 0.1 percent (0.6 percent in Q4); public consumption slowed (0.2 percent vs 0.6 percent) and inventories dropped 0.2 percent (vs 0.1 percent). In addition, exports rose 0.9 percent, the same as in Q4 while imports rose faster (1.2 percent vs 0.5 percent). In contrast, gross fixed investment recovered (5.1 percent vs -1.6 percent).
Year-on-year, the GDP expanded 3.4 percent, above 2.5 percent in the last three months of 2016 and beating expectations of 2.8 percent. It is the highest annual growth rate since the last quarter of 2007, mainly boosted by a 7.6 percent jump in business investment (1.3 percent in Q4), namely in software, machinery and telecommunication equipment. Public investment also rose faster (2.1 percent vs 0.6 percent in Q4); government spending increased 1.6 percent (1.5 percent in Q4) while private consumption slowed (1.6 percent vs 2.6 percent in Q4). Exports grew 4.7 percent (2.5 percent in Q4), namely chemicals, machinery, base metal products and transport. Imports went up at a slower 4.1 percent (1.3 percent in Q4).
The first quarter of 2017 had two more working days than the same quarter in 2016. Accounting for those calendar effects, the economy advanced 2.8 percent. The European Commission expects the Dutch GDP to grow 2.1 percent in 2017.