The Dutch economy declined by 0.7 percent in the fourth quarter of 2011 in comparison to the same period in 2010. The average economic growth rate, however, over 2011 is 1.2 percent, the Dutch statistics office announced Wednesday.
The downturn in the fourth quarter is predominantly due to the ongoing decline in household and government consumption and exports of Dutch products, it said.
Household consumption was 1.8 percent down in the fourth quarter from one year previously. Natural gas consumption was substantially lower due to the mild weather conditions. Furniture and car sales also dwindled.
Exports of products manufactured in the Netherlands fell by no less than 2.3 percent in the fourth quarter. Re-exports, on the other hand, grew by 1.4 percent.