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Dutch economy expands at fastest rate since joining the euro

More signs of euro boom.

Rising exports helped the Netherlands’ economy expand at its fastest quarterly pace since the start of monetary union 17 years ago, despite the country having had no working government since elections in mid-March.

Official figures show the Dutch economy smashed forecasts to expand at a quarterly pace of 1.5 per cent in the three months to June – matching its best ever performance since it joined the eurozone. That was up from an upwardly-revised 0.6 per cent at the start of the year and helped push up year on year growth to its highest since the financial crisis at 3.3 per cent.

It means the Dutch economy accelerated at a pace more than double that of the eurozone as a whole (0.6 per cent) and will ensure it is among the fastest growing western European economies in the quarter.

The country’s statistics office said the reading was “exceptionally high”. “Such a growth rate has only been recorded twice this century” said the Central Bureau of Statistics which revised up its 2017 annual GDP forecast from 2.4 per cent to 3.3 per cent today.

Dutch elections earlier this year delivered a blow to the country’s eurosceptic, anti-Islam PVV party which campaigned to leave the eurozone. The PVV gained just five seats on their previous election as the liberal party of prime minister Mark Rutte emerged as the biggest in parliament.

But complex coalition talks between Mr Rutte and three other parties have still failed to produce a government over the last five months.

Exports were the best performing part of the economy in the quarter, with imports, investment and household consumption also growing. Domestic spending has now grown for 13 consecutive quarters.

“After two years of above-average growth, the economy is still going strong”, said Dimitry Fleming, senior Netherlands economist at ING.

Should the economy post annual growth over 3 per cent it would be the first time since before the financial crisis in 2007.

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