Dutch economy emerges from recession

The Dutch economy has come out of recession in the first quarter of 2012, revised estimates by Statistics Netherlands showed Tuesday.

Dutch GDP grew 0.3 percent in the first quarter of 2012, compared to the previous three months. The figure was revised from an initial contraction of 0.2 percent. The growth is therefore “very modest”, said a spokesman for Statistics Netherlands.

The Dutch economy shrank by 0.8 percent in the first quarter of 2012 compared with the same quarter last year. This second estimate of economic growth is 0.3 of a percent point higher than the first estimate published on 15 May.

On the spending side, government expenditure, especially public administration, has been adjusted upwards after taking into account new information not available at the time of the previous estimate. Also, the decrease in consumption expenditure by households is smaller than previously estimated when additional information on retail turnover is included. Investment and re-exports, on the other hand, have been adjusted downwards. On the production side value added of wholesale and retail trade, the information and communication sector, agriculture, care and construction were higher according to information now available.

Quarter-on-quarter growth 0.3 percent
Economic growth compared with the previous quarter has been adjusted upwards by 0.5 of a percent point. As a result, instead of shrinking by 0.2 percent, the economy grew by 0.3 percent. The economic picture is thus more positive than previously outlined. The quarter-on-quarter development has been corrected for working day and seasonal effects. The first quarter of 2012 had 1 working day extra.

Year figures
Alongside the publication of the second estimate for the first quarter of 2012, the revised estimates for 2009 (definite figure), 2010 (revised provisional figure) and 2011 (provisional figure) are also released today. Economic growth shows a slight downward adjustment for all three years: in 2009 by -0.1 of a percent point to -3.7 percent, in 2010 by -0.1 of a percent point to 1.6 percent, and in 2011 by -0.2 of a percent point to 1.0 percent.

Fewer jobs and modest wage rises
In the first quarter of 2012 there were 26 thousand fewer employee jobs than in the same quarter in 2011. This is a decrease of 0.3 percent. This second estimate of the number of jobs is 0.1 of a percent point lower than the first estimate. After correction for seasonal effects, the number of jobs is 31 thousand lower than in the fourth quarter of 2011.

Wages per working year were 0.6 percent higher in the first quarter of 2012 than in the same quarter last year. This increase is well below the collectively agreed wage rise of 1.3 percent.

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