Dutch economy shrinks 0.9 pct in Q2

13th August 2009, Comments 0 comments

Official data shows the second quarter of this year is the fifth consecutive quarter in which the economy shrank.

The Hague – The Dutch economy shrank 0.9 percent in the second quarter from output in the first three months of the year, exceeding the longest-ever period of contraction, the CBS national statistics agency said on Thursday.

"This is the fifth quarter in a row with negative quarter-on-quarter growth," said a CBS statement -- though an improvement on the 2.7 percent decline measured from the fourth quarter of 2008 to the first of this year.

On a 12-month basis, the economy shrank by 5.1 percent in the second quarter, the biggest drop since World War II.

Releasing its first estimate for the quarter, the agency blamed a 12.9-percent decline in investment, mainly in machines, company cars and building construction, as well as a 10.9-percent drop in export volumes.

Households, too, have curbed their spending by 2.6 percent from the level a year earlier, cutting back on new cars, home furnishings, electronics, restaurant dinners and flights.

The CBS said there were 93,000 fewer jobs compared to the figure for the second quarter of 2008, amounting to a 1.2 percent decline and a "clear shift from the job growth of recent years".

Compared to the first quarter the figure was one percent, "the biggest quarter-on-quarter decline ever recorded," said the agency.

"The recession is having a delayed impact on employment." said the statement. "Mainly temporary jobs are being lost."

The Dutch economy, which relies heavily on exports, entered recession in the fourth quarter of 2008.

AFP / Expatica

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