Dutch economy contracts by 1.1 percent

The Dutch economy contracted by 1.1 percent in the first quarter of 2012 compared to the first quarter of 2011.This negative growth was realised with one working day extra. In the fourth quarter of 2011, the economy had shrunk by 0.6 percent.

If the working-day pattern and the effects of seasonal variation are taken into account, the Dutch economy decreased by 0.2 percent in the first quarter compared to the preceding quarter. Quarter-on-quarter economic growth was negative for the third quarter running, but the decrease was smaller than in previous quarters.

Fixed capital formation fell by 4.2 percent in the first quarter. Investments in construction declined most notably. In the course of 2011 investments had been growing substantially, although the growth had already been slowing down. Household spending on goods and services fell by 1.1 percent, following a 2.3 percent decrease in the fourth quarter of 2011.The difference was due mainly to a substantial drop in natural gas consumption in the fourth quarter compared to one year previously, because of the relatively mild weather. Government consumption fell by 0.3 percent compared to the same period one year previously. It decreased marginally for the third quarter in a row.

In contrast to the other categories, exports of goods and services increased again. The volume of exports was 3.8 percent up on the first quarter of 2011. The volume of imports was 2.9 percent higher than one year previously.

Producers of goods generated 3.2 percent less output than one year previously. At nearly 11 percent, the largest decrease in output was in the construction sector. Production in construction was affected by more hold-ups due to frost and a different holiday pattern compared with the first quarter of 2011. Manufacturing output fell by 0.2 percent.

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.