The year 2001 was a lean year for the Dutch economy. The economic growth rate was 1.1%, the lowest since 1993. Exports growth dropped substantially in 2001. The growth in consumption slowed down, while investments were actually even lower than in 2000. Almost all branches of industry were affected by the slowdown. The only sectors in which the growth rate increased were government and care.
The inflation rate was up by almost 2%-point to 4.5%. Consumer prices had not gone up by this much since 1982. The industrial selling prices on the other hand were last year barely higher than the average 2000 levels. A barrel of crude oil (North Sea Brent) was in 2001 on average 13% cheaper than in 2000.
The yields of shares were quite negative; 2001 was the worst year for the stock market since the oil crisis of 1974. The long-term interest rate averaged 4.8%, down 0.5%-point on 2000. The annual employment figures remained positive. Some 147 thousand people gained employment and the unemployed labour force decreased by 22 thousand people. These changes are not as great as in previous years, though.
Internationally speaking the Netherlands performed below average in terms of economic growth. In terms of unemployment trends the performance was good, when compared internationally. However, the Dutch inflation rate is the highest within the Eurozone.
(source: Statistics Netherlands)