Economic growth slows to three-year low

The Dutch economy only grew 0.2% in the first three months of 2008 compared with the final quarter of 2007, the slowest growth in three years, the national statistics office CBS said on Thursday.

The quarterly growth figure was 1.2% between October and December last year.
The CBS said natural gas production and the construction sector contributed strongly to growth but both consumer spending and exports had slowed in the quarter.
While household spending on consumer durables was virtually unchanged year-on-year, a ‘notable’ increase in spending on food and increased spending on gas boosted household consumption by 2.2%.
The CBS also said that inflation had reached 2% in April, down 0.2% from the March figure. According to EU calculations, the Dutch inflation rate fell to 1.7%.

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