The Dutch economy has shrunk by 0.2 percent in the second quarter of 2013, making it the fourth consecutive quarter that the country ' s economy is going down, Netherland’s Central Statistic Bureau says.
The new data was presented on Wednesday and followed a 0.4 percent contraction in the first three months of 2013. The bureau also said the household spending fell by 2.4 percent in the three months up to June this year, with consumers buying fewer durable goods including cars, clothes and furniture. Experts blamed the setback on a big jump in unemployment as 147,000 people lost their jobs during the second quarter, making it the largest upswing in unemployment rate since 1995 when the Netherlands began issuing quarterly figures. Construction and business service sectors suffered the most job losses. The Netherlands, which is eurozone’s fifth biggest economy, fell into recession in the third quarter of 2012. Meanwhile, the European Union data agency, Eurostat, said on the same day that eurozone’s economy grew by 0.3 in the second quarter of this year, however, on a year to year basis it contracted by 0.7 percent.
EU Economic Affairs Commissioner Olli Rehn said, “There is still a very long way to go before we reach our ultimate goal of sustainable growth model that delivers more jobs. "
He also warned that eurozone states must "keep up the pace of economic reform, regain control over our mountain of debt ... and build the pillars of a genuine economic and monetary union with no loopholes where irresponsible bankers or short-sighted policymakers can thrive." Europe plunged into financial crisis in early 2008. The worsening debt crisis has forced EU governments to adopt harsh austerity measures and tough economic reforms, which have triggered incidents of social unrest and massive protests in many European countries.