The Dutch economy contracted 0.2% between July and September, the third quarter in a row that the economy has shrunk, according to preliminary estimates from national statistics agency CBS.
The economy contracted by 0.5% and 0.4% in the first and second quarters of the year and that means the Netherlands is still officially in recession, CBS chief economist Peter Hein van Mulligen said.
“The last time the economy contracted three quarters in a row was during the economic crisis of 2007,” he said. However, unlike then, the recession has not been accompanied by job losses and the employment market remains extremely tight.
The third quarter dip is largely due to a downturn in investments in machinery, vehicles and buildings, the CBS said.
The situation in the Netherlands is similar to that of Germany, where the economy also contracted by 0.1%. In Belgium and France there was marginal growth while in the EU as a whole, there was no change.
Compared with the fourth quarter of 2019, before the coronavirus pandemic hit, the Dutch recovery has been more robust than in neighbouring countries and the EU average, although the difference is shrinking as the years progress.
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