Netherlands: Economy remains in recession
May 15, 2012
In the first quarter, GDP contracted 0.2% in seasonally adjusted terms over the previous quarter, which follows on the 0.7% decline in the previous quarter and marks, in fact, the third consecutive quarterly drop. On an annual basis, the economy contracted 1.1%, down from the 0.6% drop registered in the fourth quarter. Gross fixed investment contracted 0.6% over the previous quarter, which came on top of a 0.8% decline in the October-December period. Simultaneously, total consumption was flat over the previous quarter, which followed the 0.3% contraction seen in Q4, as private consumption rose 0.2% whereas government consumption contracted 0.1%. The contribution of the external sector to overall economic growth improved somewhat, as exports outpaced imports. Exports of goods and services rebounded from a 0.3% contraction in the fourth quarter to a 4.2% increase in the first, while imports swung from a 0.1% decline in the fourth quarter to a 4.1% expansion. The government expects the economy to contract 0.5% this year.