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Dutch economy out of recession, buoyed by consumer spending –




The Dutch economy grew 0.3% in the final quarter of last year, bringing to an end the light recession which began nine months previously, national statistics agency CBS said on Wednesday.

The end of the recession is down to consumers, who whose spending rose 1.8%, according to chief economist Peter-Hein van Mulligen. “Spending on the theatre, cinema, music and holidays was up, and that reflects on the economic figures.”

Consumers have more to spend because of developments on the jobs market. “There are thousands of new jobs, wages are rising and inflation is going down,” he said. “And that is good news for consumers’ spending power.”

Although most sectors benefited from the fourth quarter growth, the construction sector shrank again, the CBS said. However, exports and imports both rose in the final quarter of the year.

The fourth quarter figures take economic growth over the full year to 0.1%, Van Mulligen said, adding that it is still too soon to talk of a turnaround. “Consumer and employer confidence is still negative, as are many other economic indicators,” he said.

The Dutch economy grew more than the EU average in the final quarter, but not as much as Belgium, where grown hit 0.4%. In Germany, however, there was a further decline of 0.3%.

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