Dutch economy outperforming others because of “intelligent lockdown”
While the first wave of the coronavirus pandemic dealt an unprecedented blow to the Dutch economy, the Netherlands is still doing better than many other European countries, Statistics Netherlands reported on Tuesday. This may have to do with the Netherlands' "intelligent lockdown" keeping more sectors open than in other countries with stricter lockdowns.
In the second quarter, the Dutch economy contracted by 8.5 percent compared to the previous quarter. "This was the strongest contraction ever recorded," the stats office said. But compared to other European countries, the Dutch economy came off favorably. Germany's economy shrank by 9.7 percent, Belgium's by 12.1 percent, and France's by 13.8 percent.
The Spanish economy was the hardest hit economy within Europe, shrinking a massive 17.8 percent. Finland was least affected, seeing its economy contract only 4.4 percent.
A major factor in the contraction of economies was the decline in household consumption during the various countries' lockdowns. In the Netherlands, household consumption shrank 10.8 percent in the second quarter, compared to the first. In Germany consumption shrank 9.5 percent, in Belgium 11.5 percent, in France 12 percent. Spain saw consumption fall 23.7 percent. Finland hand the lowest contraction at 6.4 percent.
The Netherlands is also doing well in terms of unemployment, when compared to other European countries. In August, 4.6 percent of the Dutch workforce were unemployed, lower than Belgium's 5.1 percent, France's 7.5 percent, and Spain's 16.2 percent. Germany scored better here, with an unemployment rate of 4.4 percent in August. The Czech Republic had the lowest unemployment rate in Europe at 2.7 percent.
According to Statistics Netherlands, a source of international concern is a spike in youth unemployment. In the Netherlands, youth unemployment rose to 11.3 percent in August. In Spain it was a massive 43.9 percent.