Economy shrinks by 0.4 percent in fourth quarter

According to Statistics Netherlands’ second estimate of economic growth, the Dutch economy shrank by 0.4 percent in the fourth quarter of 2012 compared with the preceding quarter. The first estimate, published on 14 February put the contraction at 0.2 percent.

Compared with twelve months previously, the economy shrank by 1.2 percent in the fourth quarter. According to the first estimate this was 0.9 percent. For the whole year, the economy contracted by 1.0 percent in 2012. The first estimate calculated this to be 0.9 percent.

Government consumption down 

On the basis of new information, consumption by the government has been adjusted downwards. Municipalities in particular have spent less that initially estimated. Consumption by households and the trade surplus were also slightly lower than previously estimated. Investment spending remained at the same level. Production by the mineral extraction sector was also corrected downwards. 

Job losses slightly lower

Employment fell by slightly less than previously reported. Compared with the third quarter, there were 17 thousand fewer employee jobs in the fourth quarter. According to the first estimate, the decrease was 18 thousand. And compared with the same period in the previous year there were 89 thousand fewer jobs, not 93 thousand fewer. This is a 1.1 percent decrease. The wage per working year wage was 1.0 percent higher than in the fourth quarter of 2011.