AMSTERDAM, Feb 16 (Reuters) – The Dutch economy shrank 0.1% on a quarterly basis in the fourth quarter of last year, the Dutch national statistics agency (CBS) said on Tuesday, as a broad lockdown to fight the coronavirus crippled demand.
All bars and restaurants in the Netherlands were closed from mid-October in a bid to limit the spread of COVID-19, which was followed by a shutdown of non-essential stores two months later.
This lockdown had a stronger effect on the economy than expected, as economists on average had forecast growth of 0.2% for the October-December period.
The Dutch economy, the euro zone’s fifth largest, shrank 3.8% over the whole of 2020, which is the sharpest contraction on record, the CBS said.
But the full-year hit was less severe than expected, as the government’s main economic adviser in November had pencilled in a contraction of 4.2% for 2020.
It predicted growth of 2.8% for 2021 at the time.
Reporting by Bart Meijer Editing by Gareth Jones