Thursday, the latest report by the Netherlands' Central Bureau of Statistics said the gross domestic product or GDP declined 0.6% year-on-year in the fourth quarter, matching the initial estimate announced on February 13. This is the first decline of GDP in more than five years.

On an annual basis, GDP growth for the first three quarters of 2008 was also revised. The GDP growth was revised up to 3.7% from 3.6% for the first quarter, and to 3.5% from 3.3% for the second quarter. For the third quarter, the GDP growth was revised upward to 2% from 1.9%.

Sequentially, the GDP, adjusted for working day and seasonal effects, contracted 1% in the fourth quarter, a tad more than the 0.9% fall recorded initially.

For the whole of 2008, the GDP growth was revised upward to 2.1% from 2%.

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