Dutch economy contracts 0.6 percent

27/03/2012 15:00

The Dutch economy contracted 0.6 percent in the fourth quarter of 2011 relative to the fourth quarter of 2010. In the third quarter, the economy had still grown by 1.1 percent compared to the third quarter of 2010. Household consumption declined in the fourth quarter, exports remained stable and fixed capital formation was marginally up on one year previously.

The Dutch economy also declined by 0.6 percent in the fourth quarter of 2011 compared to the preceding quarter. For the second time in a row, economic growth was negative relative to the preceding quarter. According to the definition, the Dutch economy is currently in recession.

Household consumption was 2.3 percent down on the fourth quarter of 2010. Household spending on goods was 3.8 percent down. Spending on services was approximately at the same level as one year previously. Due to the relatively mild weather, the consumption of natural gas dropped considerably. This had a considerable downward effect on household consumption, but spending on other goods was also lower than one year previously. Government consumption decreased by 0.2 percent relative to the fourth quarter of 2010.

Exports of goods and services remained stable compared to one year previously, the volume of imports shrank by 0.1 percent. In the preceding quarters, exports and imports had grown. Exports of goods manufactured in the Netherlands dropped by 2.6 percent, but re-exports and exports of services improved from one year previously.

Fixed capital formation was 3.6 percent up on the fourth quarter of 2010. Investment growth was below the level of the third quarter (5.0 percent). In the fourth quarter of last year, investments in cars and lorries were higher than one year previously.

Producers of goods generated 2.2 percent less output than one year previously. With 14 percent, output declined most substantially in the sector mineral extraction. Manufacturing output fell by 0.2 percent, but output generated by the construction sector was 2.2 percent up on one year previously.

Disposable for final expenditure and final expenditure (volume)

Disposable for final expenditure and final expenditure (volume)

More figures can be found in dossier Business cycle.