Modest further economic recovery

25/03/2010 15:00

The Dutch economy shrank by 2.2 percent in the fourth quarter of 2009 compared with the same period in 2008. The decrease was much smaller than in the first three quarters of 2009.

Adjusted for calendar and seasonal effects, the Dutch economy grew by 0.2 percent in the fourth quarter relative to the previous quarter. For the second consecutive quarter, quarter-on-quarter growth is positive after four quarters of negative growth, but quarter-on-quarter growth is smaller than in the third quarter.

The volume of exports of goods and services was 1.4 percent down on the fourth quarter of 2008. The decline is much smaller than in the preceding quarters. The volume of imports fell by 4.3 percent relative to one year previously. Investment spending in fixed assets dropped by 15.4 percent. The decline is even larger than in the first three quarters of 2009.

Households remained reluctant to spend money. They spent 2.8 percent less on goods and services than in the fourth quarter of 2008. At the same time, government consumption was 3.3 percent higher than one year previously. It was the only expenditure category to show an increase.

Output of manufactured goods dropped by 2.2 percent. The decline is less substantial than in the third quarter, when output of manufactured goods was 5.0 percent down on one year previously. Output realised by the construction sector collapsed further (9.9 percent). Output by the sector commercial services dropped by 3.1 percent. Providers of non-commercial services stepped up production (1.9 percent).

Disposable for final expenditure and final expenditure (volume)

Disposable for final expenditure and final expenditure (volume)