The figures published by Statistics Netherlands (CBS) in mid-February show that the Dutch economy is currently in recession.For two successive quarters, Dutch gross domestic product orGDPhas contracted.A major underlying factor is the decline in household consumption.
H ow weak current consumption actually is, appears from Chart 1, which compares consumption in recent years to consumption during similar cyclical phases in the past and to consumption in the euro area. In each case, the reference point is the peak of the previous business cycle (year t). The chart shows that current consumption growth is even weaker than during the serious economic crisis of the early 1980s. In all probability, the trough of the Dutch consumption cycle will only be reached this year. Back then, consumption recovered more quickly.