Slight economic 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.

Adjusted for calendar and seasonal effects, the Dutch economy grew by 0.5 percent in the third quarter relative to the previous quarter. In the four preceding quarters, quarter-on-quarter growth had been negative. According to the accepted definition, the positive figure for the third quarter signals the end of the recession.

The volume of exports of goods and services was 7.9 percent down on the third quarter of 2008. The decline is still considerable, but far smaller than in the two preceding quarters. The volume of imports fell by 9.3 percent relative to one year previously. Additionally, investment spending in fixed assets dropped by 14.8 percent. The downturn is more substantial than in the second quarter.

Households also remained reluctant to spend money. They spent 2.4 percent less on goods and services than in the third quarter of 2008. At the same time, government consumption was 4.0 percent higher than one year previously. It was the only expenditure category to show an increase.

Output achieved by manufacturers of goods was 5.1 percent down, half the decline in the second quarter. The downturn in the construction sector (5.6 percent) almost equalled the second quarter. Output in the sector commercial services dropped by 4.2 percent, whereas in the sector non-commercial services output grew by 1.5 percent.

Disposable for final expenditure and final expenditure (volume)

Disposable for final expenditure and final expenditure (volume)