Dutch economy contracts by 0.8 percent

The Dutch economy contracted by 0.8 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 also shrunk by 0.8 percent.

If the working-day pattern and the effects of seasonal variation are taken into account, Dutch GDP increased by 0.3 percent in the first quarter compared to the preceding quarter. In the two preceding quarters, quarter-on-quarter economic growth had been negative.

Fixed capital formation fell by 5.2 percent in the first quarter. Investments in construction declined most notably. In 2011 investments had grown substantially.

Household spending on goods and services fell by 0.7 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 was up by 0.9 percent on the same period one year previously. It had decreased marginally in the two preceding quarters.

The volume of exports was up by 2.6 percent on the first quarter of 2011. Imports were 1.6 percent higher than one year previously.
Producers of goods generated 2.8 percent less output than one year previously. The construction sector saw the largest decrease in output at over 10 percent. Production in construction was affected by a greater number of hold-ups due to frost and a different holiday pattern compared with the first quarter of 2011. Manufacturing output fell by 0.3 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.