The Dutch economy grew by 4.5 percent last year. And without correction for the high inflation, it even amounted to 10 percent. A quarter of that Dutch growth did end up abroad, reports the Central Bureau of Statistics (CBS).
‘The fact that so much money flowed out of the Netherlands has everything to do with profit distributions from Dutch companies to foreign shareholders’, says Peter Hein van Mulligen, chief economist at CBS. ‘It often concerns multinationals that are also in foreign hands. That means that 2.5 percent of what that Dutch growth yields flows away from our country.’
Another factor that played a role in 2022 was that Shell moved to the United Kingdom and profits from Dutch subsidiaries largely flowed there. And the agreement on the closure of the Groningen gas field also had consequences. ‘The government has had to dig deep into its pockets to maintain gas storage. The expenses for this have flowed abroad.’
Exceptional year, despite difficult circumstances
‘But despite the difficult circumstances last year, you still see enormous growth,’ says Van Mulligen. ‘The same applies to the labor market. 2022 was a very good year economically. Just like 2021 by the way. For two years in a row, the economy has grown by 4 percent, corrected for inflation. To see something similar, you have to go back twenty years.’
According to the economist, this has everything to do with the recovery after the corona crisis. ‘There have never been so many jobs in the Netherlands. This has contributed to strong growth in incomes among Dutch households. Because half of that 10 percent growth simply remained with the households as income.’