Netherlands: Economy falls back into recession
February 14, 2013
In the fourth quarter, GDP contracted 0.2% in seasonally adjusted terms over the previous quarter, which represents an improvement over the 1.0% drop recorded in the previous quarter but, nonetheless, puts the economy back into technical recession. That said, the reading bested market expectations, which had anticipated the economy contracting 0.3%. On an annual basis, the economy declined 0.9%, also an improvement over the 1.5% drop registered in the third quarter. For the full 2012, GDP contracted 0.9%, which contrasted the 1.0% expansion registered in 2011. The Q4 contraction came on the back of depressed consumption. Total consumption deteriorated over the previous quarter, as private consumption fell a sharp 1.1% quarter-on-quarter (Q3 2012: -0.4% qoq). In addition, gross fixed investment declined 0.7% over the previous quarter (Q3: -2.8% qoq). In contrast, the contribution from the external sector to overall economic growth improved from minus 1.1 percentage points in Q3 to plus 0.5 percentage points. Exports of goods and services swung from a 1.8% contraction in the third quarter to a 0.6% expansion in the fourth, while imports experienced zero growth in the final quarter of 2012 (Q3: -0.4% qoq).