The purchasing power of the Dutch population has dropped by one percent in 2012, the biggest decline since 1985, the Dutch Central Bureau for Statistics (CBS) announced on Tuesday. It is the third year in a row that purchasing power fell, CBS reported. In 2011 and 2010 it dropped respectively by 0.8 per cent and 0.5 per cent. The purchasing power of employees drop was limited to 0.4 per cent, while the purchasing power of self-employed declined by 2.7 percent. Traditionally there are wide differences within the category of self-employed, CBS stated. While in 10 percent of cases, the purchasing power dropped by 29 per cent, for another 10 percent it improved by 28 percent or more. The lowest income brackets include many benefit recipients, whose incomes are relatively low. The second lowest income bracket, which includes many retired people with small supplementary pensions, was most seriously affected, losing 1.3 percent of their purchasing power last year. Enditem.