Dutch economy grows 2.6 pct in Q2 despite soaring inflation

THE HAGUE, Aug. 17 (Xinhua) -- The Dutch economy grew by 2.6 percent in the second quarter, an unexpectedly strong growth from the previous three months despite soaring inflation and declining consumer confidence, the Central Bureau of Statistics (CBS) announced on Wednesday.

Trade and investment contributed the most to economic growth, it said.

On the other hand, household consumption made a positive contribution as consumers spent more on accommodation and food services, recreation and culture, transportation and communication, according to the CBS report.

"The Dutch economy is still in top gear," CBS chief economist Peter Hein van Mulligen said. "There was fear of a recession, but that is not the case at all."

Van Mulligen admitted he saw disadvantages as well, mainly in the tight labor market.

The positive growth came as a surprise amid higher inflation and lower consumer confidence in the Netherlands.

Earlier this month, CBS announced that inflation had risen to 10.3 percent in July, exceeding the 10 percent mark for the first time since September 1975. The rise was mainly due to higher energy prices.

In July, consumer confidence in the Netherlands broke a record low for the third time this year, according to CBS.

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