Economic decline

13/02/2009 15:00

The Dutch economy contracted by 0.6 percent in the fourth quarter of 2008. For the first time in over five years, GDP volume was down on one year previously.

Compared to the preceding quarter, the Dutch economy shrank by 0.9 percent. This was the third time in a row that quarter-on-quarter-growth was negative and the largest contraction since the early 1990s. The Business Cycle Tracer had already been indicating stormy weather. The heart of the indicators in the Tracer has been located in the recession stage since December 2008. 

The rate of Dutch economic decline is mainly caused by the drop in exports. The volume of exports of goods and services was 1.9 percent down on one year previously. Exports of Dutch manufactured products plummeted. Exports of services and re-exports, on the other hand, were higher than in the fourth quarter of 2007. Imports of goods and services grew by a modest 1.0 percent.

Investment spending decreased by 0.3 percent. Consumption grew by less than in preceding quarters. Households spent 0.7 percent more on goods and services. The volume of government consumption was 1.2 percent up.

With the exception of construction, production of goods producers was down on one year previously. Production of commercial services providers virtually equalled the level in the fourth quarter of 2007. Higher production levels of financial and business services providers compensated for the reduction in the hotels and restaurants, trade and transport sectors.

Disposable for final expenditure and final expenditure (volume)

Disposable for final expenditure and final expenditure (volume)