The Dutch economy contracted by 1.1% in the first quarter of this year as the recession continues, the national statistics office CBS said on Tuesday in a provisional estimate.
Compared with the previous quarter, the contraction was 0.2%, the CBS said.
This was the third quarter in a row that the economy contracted, although the shrinkage in the previous quarters – 0.7% and 0.4% – was stronger. A recession is defined as two quarterly declines in growth.
The CBS says a decline in investments of 4.2% is the main reason for the continued recession, with the construction sector in particular reluctant to spend money.
At the same time, the drop in consumer confidence has reinforced the economic downturn. Consumer spending is now down 1.1% on a year ago with high income groups leading the way, the CBS said on Monday.
NRC journalist Maarten Schinkel said it is difficult to predict what will happen in the next quarters. However, ‘given the austerity measures which still have to be pushed through, the recession is likely to to continue,’ he said.
Meanwhile, positive economic figures from Germany helped push the Amsterdam blue-chip AEX index back above 300 points in early trading on Tuesday morning.
The AEX closed down 2.4% on Monday as speculation about Greece leaving the eurozone mounted.
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