AMSTERDAM, Nov 12 (Reuters) - The Dutch economy unexpectedly contracted 0.1 percent in the third quarter of 2010 compared with the previous three months, and second-quarter growth was a revised 0.9 percent, Statistics Netherlands said on Friday. Year-on-year, gross domestic product (GDP) rose 1.8 percent in the third quarter after 2.2 percent in the second quarter. Economists surveyed by Reuters had expected quarterly growth of 0.5 percent, with forecasts in a range of 0.2 percent to 0.7 percent. KEY FIGURES GROSS DOMESTIC PRODUCT (Change in pct) Q3 10 Q2 10 Q1 10 Year-on-year +1.8 +2.2 +0.6 Quarter-on-quarter -0.1 +0.9 (+1.0) +0.5 Following are comments from economists on the figures: ANKE STRUIJS, RABOBANK "We were also surprised as we had expected slight growth." "The disappointment was mainly in the buildup in inventories. If you look at the series of figures, that is very volatile and that ensured that in the previous quarter we had considerable growth and now that effect is reversed." "If you look at the rest of the figures, such as exports and consumption that fits with the expectations we already had. If you look abroad, the growth is somewhat slower so export growth is flattening and domestic consumption is very hesitant and companies have little reason to invest more, so investments fall." CHARLES KALSHOVEN, CHIEF ECONOMIST, ING "I think there are a number of factors here. We see that the Dutch consumer is still not spending a lot." "Compared with other EU countries, one thing in the Netherlands that was a factor this quarter is that we did not yet have a government. Therefore there was more political uncertainty than elsewhere that kept consumers from spending." "Another thing is that in the Netherlands, we have a funded pension system and right now the coverage ratio for pension funds is declining and there is a lot of discussion around it, so that is another source of uncertainty for consumers." "So, the consumer was an important factor, so too was the inventory buildup which had a large boost in the second quarter, but was less in this quarter." STATISTICS NETHERLANDS COMMENT "In the third quarter 2010 the export volume was up more than 10 percent in goods and services than the same quarter in 2009. The growth was less than in the second quarter." "Re-exportation grew fastest. The increase in exports of Dutch goods was less than that due to less demand for chemical products and natural gas." "There were less investments in construciton, more in machines and computers." "Private consumption rose modestly. Households spent 0.6 percent more in the third quarter than a year ago. While modest, this is the biggest increase in two years. The rise is mainly due to spending on durable consumer goods. There was a significant rise in new car purchases and there was also a rise in consumer electronics and clothing. There was a decline in foreign holidays and in restaurants." NICO KLENE, ABN AMRO "There has been a sharp swing in the stock effects, while there was a sharp increase in stock replenishments in the second quarter, it is negative this quarter so the change is huge." "This also led to a decline in imports, which is positive, but there was a drop in corporate investments as well that weighed." For Sept retail sales table For Sept trade surplus table For Sept manufacturing output table For Oct inflation data see For staffing market data For Oct manufacturing PMI Dutch statistics agency website http://r.reuters.com/nut88h Netherlands economic data Today's data Keywords: ECONOMY/DUTCH (Amsterdam newsroom +31 20 504 5000; fax +31 20 504 5040; firstname.lastname@example.org) COPYRIGHT Copyright Thomson Reuters 2010. All rights reserved.
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