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Extensive travel and tourism guide for Holland, Europe

Holland - Economy

Economy - overview: The Netherlands is a prosperous and open economy depending heavily on foreign trade. The economy is noted for stable industrial relations, moderate inflation, a sizable current account surplus, and an important role as a European transportation hub. Industrial activity is predominantly in food processing, chemicals, petroleum refining, and electrical machinery. A highly mechanized agricultural sector employs no more than 4% of the labor force but provides large surpluses for the food-processing industry and for exports. The Netherlands, along with 11 of its EU partners, began circulating the euro currency on 1 January 2002. The country continues to be one of the leading European nations for attracting foreign direct investment. Economic growth slowed considerably in 2001-02, as part of the global economic slowdown, but for the four years before that, annual growth averaged nearly 4%, well above the EU average.

GDP: purchasing power parity - $434 billion (2002 est.)

GDP - real growth rate: 0.3% (2002 est.)

GDP - per capita: purchasing power parity - $26,900 (2002 est.)

GDP - composition by sector:
agriculture: 3.1%
industry: 25.7%
services: 71.2% (2001 est.)

Population below poverty line: NA

Household income or consumption by percentage share:
lowest 10%: 2.8%
highest 10%: 25.1% (1994)

Distribution of family income - Gini index: 32.6 (1994)

Inflation rate (consumer prices): 3.4% (2002 est.)

Labor force: 7.2 million (2000)

Labor force - by occupation:
services 73%, industry 23%, agriculture 4% (1998 est.)

Unemployment rate: 3% (2002 est.)

revenues: $134 billion
expenditures: $134 billion, including capital expenditures of $NA (2001 est.)

Industries: agroindustries, metal and engineering products, electrical machinery and equipment, chemicals, petroleum, construction, microelectronics, fishing

Industrial production growth rate: 0% (2002 est.)

Electricity - production: 88.32 billion kWh (2001)

Electricity - production by source:
fossil fuel: 89.9%
hydro: 0.1%
other: 5.7% (2001)
nuclear: 4.3%

Electricity - consumption: 99.42 billion kWh (2001)

Electricity - exports: 4.209 billion kWh (2001)

Electricity - imports: 21.49 billion kWh (2001)

Oil - production: 46,200 bbl/day (2001 est.)

Oil - consumption: 895,300 bbl/day (2001 est.)

Oil - exports: 1.418 million bbl/day (2001)

Oil - imports: 2.284 million bbl/day (2001)

Oil - proved reserves: 88.06 million bbl (January 2002 est.)

Natural gas - proved reserves: 1.693 trillion cu m (January 2002 est.)

Agriculture - products: grains, potatoes, sugar beets, fruits, vegetables; livestock

Exports: $243.3 billion f.o.b. (2002)

Exports - commodities: machinery and equipment, chemicals, fuels; foodstuffs

Exports - partners: EU 77.1% (Germany 25.7%, Benelux 12.5%, UK 10.5%, France 10.0%, Italy 5.9%) (2002)

Imports: $201.1 billion f.o.b. (2001 est.)

Imports - commodities: machinery and transport equipment, chemicals, fuels; foodstuffs, clothing

Imports - partners: EU 53.1% (Germany 17.6%, Benelux 9.6%, UK 6.7%, France 5.5%), US 8.7% (2002)

Economic aid - donor: ODA, $3.5 billion (2000 est.)

Currency: euro (EUR)
note: on 1 January 1999, the European Monetary Union introduced the euro as a common currency to be used by financial institutions of member countries; on 1 January 2002, the euro became the sole currency for everyday transactions within the member countries

Currency code: EUR

Exchange rates: euros per US dollar - 1.0626 (2002), 1.1175 (2001), 1.0854 (2000), 0.9386 (1999)

Fiscal year: calendar year

What's New in Europe!

Events & Festivals

London events highlights: Japanese crafts, ‘Pop Art’ and gardening all feature in London’s cultural events calendar this summer and beyond.

Royal wedding dress at Buckingham Palace: A special exhibition at Buckingham Palace this summer will recreate the day in 1947 when Princess Elizabeth - now Queen Elizabeth II - married the Duke of Edinburgh in a glittering ceremony at London’s Westminster Abbey.


Shrewsbury recreates its summer season: Performances by Jools Holland, George Melly and Beverly Knight are among the 370 cultural and artistic events over 100 days at the 'Shrewsbury Summer Season' this year (May 19-Sept. 9).

Scotland’s oldest house marks 900 years: The longest continually inhabited house in Scotland is 900 years old. Once a hunting lodge for the kings and queens of Scotland (it hosted 27 monarchs over the years), the Stuarts of Traquair House supported Mary, Queen of Scots and the doomed Jacobite cause.


Ceramics Festival in The Potteries: Designers, studio potters, experts and collectors will be making their way to The Potteries this autumn for the Stoke-on-Trent Ceramics Festival 2007 (Oct.5-7).

Macdonald Hotels transforms Cheshire golf venue: Three championship golf courses and the largest indoor golf academy in Europe at The Portal Golf Club venue are to be part of the new four star Macdonald Portal Hotel, Golf and Spa in Cheshire when it opens in July.