Dutch Economy Shrinks

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The Dutch economy shrank faster in the last quarter of 2012 than previously thought. This follows from the second estimate of the CBS, which was distributed on Thursday. According to the estimate, the economy shrank by 0.4 percent. The first estimate in mid-February, on the other hand, showed a shrinking of 0.2 percent.

The shrinkage was 1.2 percent compared to a year earlier. In the first estimate, this was still at 0.9 percent. Consumer expenditure was lower and authorities spent less money than expected.

Employment shrank somewhat less than what was reported before. In the fourth quarter there were 17,000 fewer jobs than in the previous quarter, but according to the first estimate, the decline would be 18,000.

The average wage per laborer in the fourth quarter was 1.0 percent higher than in the same quarter a year earlier.

The Netherlands ended up in a recession last month for the third time since 2009. "The only way to restore confidence is to have reforms that will strengthen the economy and will put public finances back in order," said Minister Henk Kamp of Economic Affairs.

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