The Netherlands is the fifth largest economic power in Europe and the fifth largest exporter of goods. The country has been hit hard by the global crisis and later the eurozone crisis because of its dependence on foreign trade.
The Dutch economic growth has been negative for the past two years, due to weak domestic demand (-1% in 2013), which should strat recovering in 2014 (0.5%) thanks to investment and public spending.
The Dutch economy, long considered a model of success in the eurozone, has been badly impacted by the series of recessions. State debt continued to increase in 2013 and now represents around 75% of the GDP, investment is falling, domestic consumtion remains sluggish and the housing market is undergoing a severe crisis. Public finances have plunged into the red, beyond the allowance of the European Stability and Growth Pact. The government's priority is fiscal consolidation, with the aim of rebalancing public finances. In 2014, the deficit should be reduced to 3.2% of the GDP (compared to 3.9% in 2013) thanks to massive budget cuts of around 6 billion euro, especially in welfare programmes. Reducing inquealities is also among the government's priorities.
The Netherlands has a very high per capita revenue, with a relatively equal distribution of revenues. The GDP/per capita ration is above the EU average. The unemployment rate, which for a long time was practically non-existent, has been rising strongly since 2008, and should reach 8% of the active population in 2014, which represents a 30-year record level.
|Main Indicators||2011||2012||2013||2014||2015 (e)|
|GDP (billions USD)||894.58||823.60||853.81e||880.39||891.55|
|GDP (Constant Prices, Annual % Change)||1.7||-1.6||-0.7||0.6||1.4|
|GDP per Capita (USD)||53,590||49,158||50||52,249||52,770|
|General Government Balance (in % of GDP)||-3.6||-2.2||0.2||0.1||-0.0|
|General Government Gross Debt (in % of GDP)||61.3||66.5||68.6||69.4e||69.6|
|Inflation Rate (%)||2.5||2.8||2.6||0.5||0.7|
|Unemployment Rate (% of the Labor Force)||4.4||5.3||6.7||7.3||6.9|
|Current Account (billions USD)||75.67||73.48e||87.12e||86.96||85.81|
|Current Account (in % of GDP)||8.5||8.9||10.2||9.9e||9.6|
Source: IMF - World Economic Outlook Database , Last Available Data
Note: (e) Estimated Data
The agricultural sector represents 2% of the country's GNP. The yields are high and the use of the agricultural surface area is very intensive. Nearly 60% of the production is exported, either directly or through the food industry, what makes of the Netherlands the second largest exporter of agricultural products in the world (after the U.S.). Cereals, potatoes and horticultural products are the main crops.
Industrial activity, practically, generates nearly a quarter of the GNP through food-processing, the petro-chemical industry, metallurgy and also the transport equipment industry. The Netherlands is also amongst the major producers and distributors of oil and natural gas.
Services account for almost 75% of the national income and they are mainly centered on transportation, distribution, logistics, banking and insurances, water engineering and new technologies. The Netherlands is Europe's number one in the field of ocean freight.
|Breakdown of Economic Activity By Sector||Agriculture||Industry||Services|
|Employment By Sector (in % of Total Employment)||2.5||15.3||71.5|
|Value Added (in % of GDP)||2.0||22.2||75.9|
|Value Added (Annual % Change)||1.9||-0.0||-0.6|
Source: World Bank - Last Available Data.
|Euro (EUR) - Average Annual Exchange Rate For 1 USD||0.72||0.76||0.72||0.78||0.76|
Source: CIA - The world factbook - Last Available Data.
The Economic freedom index measure ten components of economic freedom, grouped into four broad categories or pillars of economic freedom: Rule of Law (property rights, freedom from corruption); Limited Government (fiscal freedom, government spending); Regulatory Efficiency (business freedom, labor freedom, monetary freedom); and Open Markets (trade freedom, investment freedom, financial freedom). Each of the freedoms within these four broad categories is individually scored on a scale of 0 to 100. A country’s overall economic freedom score is a simple average of its scores on the 10 individual freedoms.
The business rankings model measures the quality or attractiveness of the business environment in the 82 countries covered by The Economist Intelligence Unit’s Country Forecast reports. It examines ten separate criteria or categories, covering the political environment, the macroeconomic environment, market opportunities, policy towards free enterprise and competition, policy towards foreign investment, foreign trade and exchange controls, taxes, financing, the labour market and infrastructure.
The Dutch prosperity has always been based on its international trade. With high-tech industries and services, foreign trade is one of the main pillars of the Dutch economy, representing over 155% of GDP (average 2010-2012). The level of the country's trade openness (the share of imports plus exports of goods and services in the GDP) is usually over 100%, making it one of the most open and most outwards-oriented economies in the world. Rotterdam is the largest European port, thanks to its strategic geographic location, which makes the Netherlands a European trading hub.
The Dutch trade balance is structurally a surplus and this trend should continue. In 2013, the trade surplus increased due to imports falling more quickly than exports. The country's main trade partners are the European Union, the United States and China.
|Foreign Trade Indicators||2009||2010||2011||2012||2013|
|Imports of Goods (million USD)||443,153||516,409||599,035||590,352||590,293|
|Exports of Goods (million USD)||497,891||574,251||667,101||655,700||663,524|
|Imports of Services (million USD)||107,522||105,510||120,897||119,539||121,152|
|Exports of Services (million USD)||111,352||115,558||135,629||131,125||142,006|
|Imports of Goods and Services (Annual % Change)||-7.5||8.3||3.5||2.8||0.8|
|Exports of Goods and Services (Annual % Change)||-8.0||8.9||4.4||3.3||2.0|
|Imports of Goods and Services (in % of GDP)||56.4||63.6||68.8||72.9||72.6|
|Exports of Goods and Services (in % of GDP)||63.9||72.0||77.4||82.0||82.9|
|Trade Balance (million USD)||48,068||53,159||58,548||55,502||66,404|
|Trade Balance (Including Service) (million USD)||55,867||63,916||72,048||66,418||85,001|
|Foreign Trade (in % of GDP)||120.3||135.5||146.2||155.0||155.6|
Source: WTO - World Trade Organization ; World Bank , Last Available Data
(% of Exports)
|See More Countries||42.8%|
(% of Imports)
|See More Countries||51.3%|
Source: Comtrade, Last Available Data
|- bn USD of products exported in 2013|
|Petroleum oils and oils obtained from bituminous...Petroleum oils and oils obtained from bituminous minerals (excl. crude); preparations containing >= 70% by weight of petroleum oils or of oils obtained from bituminous minerals, these oils being the basic constituents of the preparations, n.e.s.; waste oils containing mainly petroleum or bituminous minerals||13.2%|
|Petroleum gas and other gaseous hydrocarbonsPetroleum gas and other gaseous hydrocarbons||4.3%|
|Automatic data processing machines and units...Automatic data processing machines and units thereof; magnetic or optical readers, machines for transcribing data onto data media in coded form and machines for processing such data, n.e.s.||3.8%|
|Medicaments consisting of mixed or unmixed...Medicaments consisting of mixed or unmixed products for therapeutic or prophylactic uses, put up in measured doses incl. those in the form of transdermal administration or in forms or packings for retail sale (excl. goods of heading 3002, 3005 or 3006)||2.4%|
|Electrical apparatus for line telephony or line...Electrical apparatus for line telephony or line telegraphy, incl. line telephone sets with cordless handsets and telecommunication apparatus for carrier-current line systems or for digital line systems; videophones; parts thereof||2.3%|
|See More Products||74.0%|
|- bn USD of products imported in 2013|
|Petroleum oils and oils obtained from bituminous...Petroleum oils and oils obtained from bituminous minerals, crude||10.3%|
|Petroleum oils and oils obtained from bituminous...Petroleum oils and oils obtained from bituminous minerals (excl. crude); preparations containing >= 70% by weight of petroleum oils or of oils obtained from bituminous minerals, these oils being the basic constituents of the preparations, n.e.s.; waste oils containing mainly petroleum or bituminous minerals||10.0%|
|Automatic data processing machines and units...Automatic data processing machines and units thereof; magnetic or optical readers, machines for transcribing data onto data media in coded form and machines for processing such data, n.e.s.||4.6%|
|Electrical apparatus for line telephony or line...Electrical apparatus for line telephony or line telegraphy, incl. line telephone sets with cordless handsets and telecommunication apparatus for carrier-current line systems or for digital line systems; videophones; parts thereof||2.9%|
|Petroleum gas and other gaseous hydrocarbonsPetroleum gas and other gaseous hydrocarbons||2.5%|
|See More Products||69.7%|
Source: Comtrade, Last Available Data
|- bn USD of services exported in 2011|
|Miscellaneous business,...Miscellaneous business, professional, and technical services||26.42%|
|Services between related...Services between related enterprises, n.i.e.||15.33%|
|Legal, accounting, management...Legal, accounting, management consulting, and public relations||2.82%|
|Accounting, auditing,...Accounting, auditing, bookkeeping, and tax consulting services||1.73%|
|Business and management...Business and management consulting and public relations services||0.68%|
|Legal servicesLegal services||0.41%|
|Research and developmentResearch and development||2.46%|
|Other business servicesOther business services||2.22%|
|Agricultural, mining, and...Agricultural, mining, and on-site processing services||1.95%|
|Waste treatment and...Waste treatment and depollution||0.09%|
|Architectural, engineering,...Architectural, engineering, and other technical services||1.09%|
|Advertising, market research,...Advertising, market research, and public opinion polling||0.54%|
|Merchanting and other trade-related...Merchanting and other trade-related services||3.32%|
|Other trade-related servicesOther trade-related services||1.97%|
|Operational leasing servicesOperational leasing services||1.05%|
|Franchises and similar rightsFranchises and similar rights||19.85%|
|Air transportAir transport||6.68%|
|Sea transportSea transport||6.34%|
|Road transportRoad transport||6.26%|
|Inland waterway transportInland waterway transport||0.98%|
|Rail transportRail transport||0.15%|
|Personal travelPersonal travel||7.07%|
|Business travelBusiness travel||3.30%|
|Computer servicesComputer services||2.99%|
|Information servicesInformation services||1.57%|
|Postal and courier servicesPostal and courier services||2.62%|
|Telecommunications servicesTelecommunications services||1.67%|
|Construction abroadConstruction abroad||1.95%|
|Construction in the compiling...Construction in the compiling economy||0.01%|
|Audiovisual and related servicesAudiovisual and related services||0.38%|
|Other personal, cultural, and...Other personal, cultural, and recreational services||0.19%|
|Other direct insuranceOther direct insurance||0.32%|
|Life insurance and pension fundingLife insurance and pension funding||0.10%|
|Freight insuranceFreight insurance||0.05%|
|- bn USD of services imported in 2011|
|Miscellaneous business,...Miscellaneous business, professional, and technical services||27.14%|
|Services between related...Services between related enterprises, n.i.e.||18.35%|
|Legal, accounting, management...Legal, accounting, management consulting, and public relations||2.36%|
|Business and management...Business and management consulting and public relations services||1.38%|
|Accounting, auditing,...Accounting, auditing, bookkeeping, and tax consulting services||0.55%|
|Legal servicesLegal services||0.43%|
|Research and developmentResearch and development||2.26%|
|Advertising, market research,...Advertising, market research, and public opinion polling||1.49%|
|Other business servicesOther business services||1.40%|
|Agricultural, mining, and...Agricultural, mining, and on-site processing services||0.75%|
|Waste treatment and...Waste treatment and depollution||0.02%|
|Architectural, engineering,...Architectural, engineering, and other technical services||0.53%|
|Merchanting and other trade-related...Merchanting and other trade-related services||5.61%|
|Other trade-related servicesOther trade-related services||5.61%|
|Operational leasing servicesOperational leasing services||1.15%|
|Franchises and similar rightsFranchises and similar rights||15.37%|
|Road transportRoad transport||7.41%|
|Sea transportSea transport||5.52%|
|Air transportAir transport||3.78%|
|Rail transportRail transport||0.35%|
|Inland waterway transportInland waterway transport||0.32%|
|Personal travelPersonal travel||12.81%|
|Business travelBusiness travel||4.05%|
|Computer servicesComputer services||3.52%|
|Information servicesInformation services||0.81%|
|Postal and courier servicesPostal and courier services||2.34%|
|Telecommunications servicesTelecommunications services||1.57%|
|Construction abroadConstruction abroad||1.48%|
|Construction in the compiling...Construction in the compiling economy||0.31%|
|Freight insuranceFreight insurance||0.51%|
|Other direct insuranceOther direct insurance||0.10%|
|Life insurance and pension fundingLife insurance and pension funding||0.01%|
|Auxiliary servicesAuxiliary services||0.01%|
|Audiovisual and related servicesAudiovisual and related services||0.51%|
|Other personal, cultural, and...Other personal, cultural, and recreational services||0.13%|
Source: Comtrade, Last Available Data
The world rankings, published annually, measures the violations of press freedom worldwide. It reflects the degree of freedom enjoyed by journalists, the media and digital citizens of each country and the means used by states to respect and uphold this freedom. Finally, a note and a position are assigned to each country. To compile this index, Reporters Without Borders (RWB) prepared a questionnaire sent to partner organizations,150 RWB correspondents, journalists, researchers, jurists and activists of human rights, including the main criteria - 44 in total - to assess the situation of press freedom in a given country. It includes every kind of direct attacks against journalists and digital citizens (murders, imprisonment, assault, threats, etc.) or against the media (censorship, confiscation, searches and harassment etc.).
The Indicator of Political Freedom provides an annual evaluation of the state of freedom in a country as experienced by individuals. The survey measures freedom according to two broad categories: political rights and civil liberties. The ratings process is based on a checklist of 10 political rights questions (on Electoral Process, Political Pluralism and Participation, Functioning of Government) and 15 civil liberties questions (on Freedom of Expression, Belief, Associational and Organizational Rights, Rule of Law, Personal Autonomy and Individual Rights). Scores are awarded to each of these questions on a scale of 0 to 4, where a score of 0 represents the smallest degree and 4 the greatest degree of rights or liberties present. The total score awarded to the political rights and civil liberties checklist determines the political rights and civil liberties rating. Each rating of 1 through 7, with 1 representing the highest and 7 the lowest level of freedom, corresponds to a range of total scores.
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