This article was last updated on November 14, 2023
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Dutch Economy Contracts by 0.2 Percent in Third Quarter
The Dutch economy shrank again in the third quarter of this year. The contraction of 0.2 percent is smaller than in the first two quarters of this year, yet the Netherlands is still experiencing three consecutive quarters of contraction, indicating a recession (source).
Consumer Confidence Remains despite Weakening Economy
Despite the weakening economy, consumers still have confidence in it. In the third quarter, they spent as much as in the three months before. However, in the longer term, confidence appears to be declining somewhat. Compared to a year ago, consumers spent no less than 2 percent less in September. In particular, less money went to shoes, clothing, and items for the home. However, more cars were sold.
For the entire quarter, it was mainly the declining number of investments in transport equipment, machines, and buildings that caused the small contraction. The added economic value decreased most sharply in the third quarter at energy companies and in culture, sports, recreation, and other services sectors.
Chief Economist’s Insight on the Current Recession
Statistics Netherlands already spoke of a mild recession last quarter. This will not change with the current small contraction. Chief economist Peter Hein van Mulligen calls the economic picture a bit ambiguous: “On the one hand, the economy is shrinking and the confidence of consumers and companies is also quite low, on the other hand, the labor market is still going very well. There are again many more jobs were created.”
According to Van Mulligen, this makes the current recession special. “Usually during a prolonged recession, you see many jobs disappear. That is not the case now.”