Netherlands

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Economics

Economy - overview

The Netherlands economy is noted for stable industrial relations, moderate unemployment and inflation, a sizable current account surplus, and an important role as a European transportation hub. Industrial activity is predominantly in food processing, chemicals, petroleum refining, and electrical machinery. A highly mechanized agricultural sector employs only 2% of the labor force but provides large surpluses for the food-processing industry and for exports. The Netherlands, along with 11 of its EU partners, began circulating the euro currency on 1 January 2002. The country has been one of the leading European nations for attracting foreign direct investment and is one of the four largest investors in the US. After 26 years of uninterrupted economic growth, the Netherlands' economy - which is highly open and dependent on foreign trade and financial services - was hard-hit by global economic crisis. Dutch GDP contracted 3.9% in 2009, while exports declined nearly 25% due to a sharp contraction in world demand. The Dutch financial sector has also suffered, due in part to the high exposure of some Dutch banks to U.S. mortgage-backed securities. In response to turmoil in financial markets, the government nationalized two banks and injected billions of dollars into a third, to prevent further systemic risk. The government also sought to boost the domestic economy by accelerating infrastructure programs, offering corporate tax breaks for employers to retain workers, and expanding export credit facilities. The stimulus programs and bank bailouts, however, resulted in a government budget deficit of nearly 4.6% of GDP in 2009 and 5.3% in 2010 that contrasts sharply with a surplus of 0.7% of GDP in 2008. With unemployment weighing on private-sector consumption, the government of Prime Minister Mark RUTTE is likely to come under increased pressure to keep the budget deficit in check while promoting economic recovery.

GDP (purchasing power parity):

$676.9 billion (2010 est.)

country comparison to the world: 22

$665.3 billion (2009 est.)

$692.4 billion (2008 est.)

note: data are in 2010 US dollars

GDP (official exchange rate):

$783.3 billion (2010 est.)

GDP - real growth rate:

1.7% (2010 est.)

country comparison to the world: 156

-3.9% (2009 est.)

1.9% (2008 est.)

GDP - per capita (PPP):

$40,300 (2010 est.)

country comparison to the world: 20

$39,800 (2009 est.)

$41,600 (2008 est.)

note: data are in 2010 US dollars

GDP - composition by sector:

agriculture: 2.8%

industry: 24.4%

services: 72.9% (2010 est.)

Labor force:

7.816 million (2010 est.)

country comparison to the world: 60

Labor force - by occupation:

agriculture: 2%

industry: 18%

services: 80% (2005 est.)

Unemployment rate:

5.5% (2010 est.)

country comparison to the world: 50

4.8% (2009 est.)

Population below poverty line:

10.5% (2005)

Household income or consumption

by percentage share:

lowest 10%: 2.5%

highest 10%: 22.9% (1999)

Distribution of family income - Gini index:

30.9 (2007)

country comparison to the world: 113

32.6 (1994)

Investment (gross fixed):

18.2% of GDP (2010 est.)

country comparison to the world: 141

Budget:

revenues: $358.5 billion

expenditures: $400 billion (2010 est.)

Taxes and other revenues:

45.8% of GDP (2010 est.)

country comparison to the world: 23

Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-):

-5.3% of GDP (2010 est.)

country comparison to the world: 151

Public debt:

62.7% of GDP (2010 est.)

country comparison to the world: 30

60.8% of GDP (2009 est.)

Inflation rate (consumer prices):

1.3% (2010 est.)

country comparison to the world: 34

1.2% (2009 est.)

Central bank discount rate:

1.75% (31 December 2010)

country comparison to the world: 127

1.75% (31 December 2009)

note: this is the European Central Bank's rate on the marginal lending facility, which offers overnight credit to banks in the euro area

Commercial bank prime lending rate:

3.013% (31 December 2010 est.)

country comparison to the world: 176

3.367% (31 December 2009 est.)

Stock of narrow money:

$375.5 billion (31 December 2010 est.)

country comparison to the world: 14

$361.8 billion (31 December 2009 est.)

note: see entry for the European Union for money supply in the euro area; the European Central Bank (ECB) controls monetary policy for the 17 members of the Economic and Monetary Union (EMU); individual members of the EMU do not control the quantity of money circulating within their own borders

Stock of broad money:

$1.088 trillion (31 December 2010 est.)

country comparison to the world: 15

$1.165 trillion (31 December 2009 est.)

Stock of domestic credit:

$2.083 trillion (31 December 2009 est.)

country comparison to the world: 12

$1.824 trillion (31 December 2008)

Market value of publicly traded shares:

$661.2 billion (31 December 2010)

country comparison to the world: 19

$542.5 billion (31 December 2009)

$387.9 billion (31 December 2008)

Agriculture - products:

grains, potatoes, sugar beets, fruits, vegetables; livestock

Industries:

agro industries, metal and engineering products, electrical machinery and equipment, chemicals, petroleum, construction, microelectronics, fishing

Industrial production growth rate:

7.1% (2010 est.)

country comparison to the world: 54

Electricity - production:

105.7 billion kWh (2009 est.)

country comparison to the world: 31

Electricity - consumption:

112.5 billion kWh (2008 est.)

country comparison to the world: 28

Electricity - exports:

10.56 billion kWh (2009 est.)

Electricity - imports:

4.888 billion kWh (2009 est.)

Oil - production:

59,490 bbl/day (2010 est.)

country comparison to the world: 58

Oil - consumption:

1.009 million bbl/day (2010 est.)

country comparison to the world: 20

Oil - exports:

1.871 million bbl/day (2009 est.)

country comparison to the world: 13

Oil - imports:

2.577 million bbl/day (2009 est.)

country comparison to the world: 8

Oil - proved reserves:

310 million bbl (1 January 2011 est.)

country comparison to the world: 56

Natural gas - production:

85.17 billion cu m (2010 est.)

country comparison to the world: 9

Natural gas - consumption:

53.19 billion cu m (2010 est.)

country comparison to the world: 15

Natural gas - exports:

57.75 billion cu m (2010 est.)

country comparison to the world: 5

Natural gas - imports:

25.77 billion cu m (2010 est.)

country comparison to the world: 12

Natural gas - proved reserves:

1.387 trillion cu m (1 January 2011 est.)

country comparison to the world: 24

Current account balance:

$60.09 billion (2010 est.)

country comparison to the world: 7

$38.74 billion (2009 est.)

Exports:

$486.7 billion (2010 est.)

country comparison to the world: 7

$424.4 billion (2009 est.)

Exports - commodities:

machinery and equipment, chemicals, fuels; foodstuffs

Exports - partners:

Germany 26%, Belgium 13%, France 9.2%, UK 7.7%, Italy 4.9% (2010)

Imports:

$429.5 billion (2010 est.)

country comparison to the world: 10

$373.4 billion (2009 est.)

Imports - commodities:

machinery and transport equipment, chemicals, fuels, foodstuffs, clothing

Imports - partners:

Germany 15.5%, China 12.6%, Belgium 8.3%, US 6.8%, UK 6.2%, Russia 5.6% (2010)

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold:

$46.24 billion (31 December 2010 est.)

country comparison to the world: 35

$39.61 billion (31 December 2009 est.)

Debt - external:

$NA (30 June 2011)

$3.733 trillion (31 December 2009)

Stock of direct foreign investment - at home:

$587.3 billion (31 December 2010 est.)

country comparison to the world: 8

$659.3 billion (31 December 2009 est.)

Stock of direct foreign investment - abroad:

$954.6 billion (31 December 2010 est.)

country comparison to the world: 5

$949.9 billion (31 December 2009 est.)

Exchange rates:

euros (EUR) per US dollar -

0.755 (2010)

0.7198 (2009)

0.6827 (2008)

0.7345 (2007)

0.7964 (2006)