May 15, 2020 / 8:11 AM / 13 days ago

Dutch economy hit hard as consumers stop spending in Q1

AMSTERDAM, May 15 (Reuters) - The Dutch economy contracted 1.7% in the first quarter as the coronavirus outbreak began to bite and consumers stoped spending, Statistics Netherlands said on Friday.

Preliminary figures showed gross domestic product falling sharply from 1.6% growth in the last quarter of 2019, the CBS said. GDP was down 0.5% year-on-year, it said.

“This was the largest contraction since the first quarter of 2009” during the global financial crisis, the CBS said in a statement. It brought to an end 23 consecutive quarters of growth in the European Union’s fifth largest economy.

Household spending plunged 2.7% in the first quarter, it said, the largest recorded fall on record since tracking of the indicator began in 1987. (Reporting by Anthony Deutsch; editing by Nick Macfie)

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