Dutch economic growth stable at 0.5% in Q1, beating expectations

Credit: REUTERS/YVES HERMAN

Economic growth in the Netherlands stabilised at 0.5% on a quarterly basis in the first quarter, as an ongoing construction boom offset slowing export growth, Statistics Netherlands said on Tuesday.

Corrects 2018 growth figure in last paragraph to 2.7%, not 2.5%

THE HAGUE, May 14 (Reuters) - Economic growth in the Netherlands stabilised at 0.5% on a quarterly basis in the first quarter, as an ongoing construction boom offset slowing export growth, Statistics Netherlands said on Tuesday.

On an annual basis, growth in the euro zone's fifth largest economy fell to 1.7% in the first quarter from 2.2% in the previous quarter, but was slightly stronger than economists in a Reuters poll had expected.

"Our exports were hit by slowing growth in neighbouring countries, but nevertheless still increased," Statistics Netherlands chief economist Peter Hein van Mulligen said.

Exports grew 1.1%, the smallest rise in three years, as demand from German factories waned and confidence among industrial companies elsewhere in the euro zone deteriorated.

Domestic spending, however, was strong enough to offset weaker international demand, as Dutch builders and factories increased their investments, and a fall in unemployment continued to drive consumer spending.

The government's economic advisory board expects the Dutch economy to grow 1.5% this year and next, after a 2.7% expansion in 2018.

(Reporting by Bart Meijer; Editing by Kevin Liffey)

((Bart.Meijer@thomsonreuters.com; +31 20 504 5006; Reuters Messaging: bart.meijer@thomsonreuters.com))

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