AMSTERDAM, Nov 12 (Reuters) - The Dutch economy unexpectedly contracted 0.1 percent in the third quarter and did not benefit from growth in trading partners Germany and France, as Dutch investment fell while consumer spending growth was weak. Economists surveyed by Reuters had expected quarterly growth of 0.5 percent, with forecasts ranging from an expansion of 0.2 percent to 0.7 percent. "We do not expect a new recession, but we do have in our estimates for next year the possibility of a slowdown in growth," Rabobank economist Anke Struijs said. A fall of 2.4 percent in company investments compared to the second quarter weighed the most on GDP and signalled a reverse of investments growth in the preceding period, data from Statistics Netherlands (CBS) showed on Friday. "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," ABN AMRO economist Nico Klene said. Household consumption also remained weak, with quarter-on-quarter growth of 0.1 percent after a 0.1 percent fall the preceding quarter, CBS said. Earlier on Friday, Germany reported third-quarter GDP growth of 0.7 percent, matching market forecasts, while in France GDP rose 0.4 percent, slightly below forecasts. The Dutch economy, where exports are equivalent to 70 percent of gross domestic product (GDP), grew the preceding four quarters, mostly supported by a recovery in exports and government investment. Quarterly growth was revised down to 0.9 percent in the second quarter on Friday. Year-on-year, gross domestic product (GDP) rose 1.8 percent in the third quarter after 2.2 percent growth in the second quarter. Keywords: DUTCH ECONOMY/GDP (Amsterdam newsroom; +31 20 504 5000; fax +31 20 504 5040; email@example.com) COPYRIGHT Copyright Thomson Reuters 2010. All rights reserved.
The copying, republication or redistribution of Reuters News Content, including by framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Thomson Reuters.