The Dutch economy contracted by 8.5% in the second quarter of 2020 compared to the previous three months, Statistics Netherlands said on Friday, the worst fall on record amid a lockdown to fight the coronavirus epidemic, though not as bad as feared.
Year-on-year, gross domestic product (GDP) fell 9.3% in the quarter from the same quarter a year ago.
“More than half of the fall in GDP in the second quarter can be attributed to the strong decline in household consumption,” the CBS said in a note accompanying its quarterly data. “In addition investment and trade fell sharply.”
The contraction was still not as dramatic as in neighbouring Germany and Belgium, nor Britain, the worst-affected of European economies. According to Refinitiv data, economists had expected the quarter-on-quarter decline to be 9.2% and year-on-year at 9.7%.
The previous worst fall had been 3.6% in the first quarter of 2009, following the global financial crisis.
Unemployment rose quickly from very low levels, up to 3.8% from 3.0% at the end of Q1. Job losses have been tempered by a generous government support programs for companies and self-employed people.