Dutch economy shrinks by 8.5%

economy, coronavirus
Photo credit: Gerd Altmann/Pixabay

According to first estimates, the Dutch gross domestic product (GDP) fell by 8.5% in Q2 2020.

That’s the most it’s dropped in a quarter since first being recorded, more than 30 years. But, the Dutch GDP contraction is, however, smaller than the eurozone average. The country fared better than surrounding countries like the UK, Belgium, and Germany too.

This estimate was done by Statistics Netherlands (CBS) and is relative to the previous quarter. The Burea bases these estimates on currently available data. More than 50% of the decline over Q2 is due to substantially lower household consumption.

Household spending decreased by 10.4%. Investments in fixed assets and the trade balance also fell sharply. Investments shrank by 12.4%, while exports and imports of goods and services declined by 9.8 and 8.3%, respectively. Public consumption fell by three percent.


The decreased output in several sectors had a major effect on the country’s economy. These include the care sector. But, lower productivity in this sector can be explained. Many health and care services were postponed or avoided during the coronavirus pandemic.

The Q1 2020 and Q2 2020 GDP estimates are more uncertain than usual. That’s also thanks to the coronavirus crisis. The CBS has published quarterly data on the economy in the Netherlands since 1987. The sharpest quarterly decline so far has been 3.6%. That was during the financial crisis, in Q1 2009.

The Bureau publishes the first estimate 45 days after the end of a quarter. It provides an initial idea of the Dutch economy’s state. After the first estimate, the CBS continues to accumulate new data, which it uses for new calculations.

The bureau will release the second economic growth estimate soon. With each new assessment, CBS also recalculates the latest seasonally adjusted figures of previously published quarters. They haven’t needed to change the previous three quarters’ estimates.

Source: CBS

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