AMSTERDAM Feb 21 The contracting Dutch economy
showed further signs of deteriorating on Thursday with consumer
confidence reaching an all-time low and unemployment rising its
highest in about 16 years.
Consumer confidence fell to minus 44 points in February from
minus 35 in January, reaching the lowest point since records
started in 1986, the Dutch national statistics office,
Statistics Netherlands, said in a statement.
Seasonally adjusted unemployment rose to 7.5 percent, or
almost 600,000 of the labour population, from 7.5 percent, the
statistics office said. A spokesman said on Dutch television it
was the highest level in around 16 years.
The euro zone's fifth-largest economy is suffering from a
drop in house prices, a building slump, falling consumer
spending and investments, and is under a government austerity