Economy shows slight recovery

The Dutch economy shrank by 3.7percent in the third quarter of 2009 compared with the same period in 2008. The decrease is much smaller than in the first two quarters of 2009.

Compared with the previous quarter, the economy grew by 0.4 percent in the third quarter after adjustment for calendar and seasonal effects. In the four preceding quarters, quarter-on-quarter growth had been negative. According to the prevailing definition, the positive figure for the third quarter indicates the end of the recession.

The volume of exports of goods and services was 8.1 percent down on the third quarter of 2008. The decrease is still large, but far smaller than in the two preceding quarters. The volume of imports fell by 9.4 percent. Furthermore, there was a 14.4 percent reduction in investment spending. This is a larger fall than in the second quarter.

Households remained reluctant to spend their money. They spent 2.6 percent less on goods and services than in the third quarter of 2008. Government consumption, on the other hand, was 3.6 percent higher than one year previously. It was the only expenditure category to show an increase.

Production of goods manufacturers was 5.4 percent down. This is half the size of the decrease in the second quarter. While output in the sectors manufacturing and mineral extraction showed smaller decreases, output in construction fell further. This was the result of work contracted earlier coming to an end and not enough orders to replace it. Output in the sector commercial services dropped by 4.1 percent, whereas in the sector non-commercial services it grew by 1.5 percent.

Disposable for final expenditure and final expenditure (volume)

Disposable for final expenditure and final expenditure (volume)