The Dutch economy remained in recession in the first three months of this year, contracting 0.1 percentage point compared with the final quarter of 2012, according to national statistics office CBS.
Compared with the same quarter in 2012, the economy shrank by 1.7%, the CBS said. In particular, household spending fell 2.1% over the 12-month period.
The construction sector continued to suffer, with production down 11.6% on a year ago. Industrial production as a whole fell 4.5% while unemployment rose slightly to 8.2%.
Economic affairs minister Henk Kamp said the size of the first quarter contraction is a sign the economy is stabilising.
‘But this does not get away from the fact people are concerned about their jobs, pensions and the value of their homes,’ he said. ‘A recovery in confidence is necessary to help the economy back on its feet.’
This week’s action plan to boost the number of technology students is one way the government is working to strengthen the economy, Kamp said.
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