Economic growth forecast down

Finance minister Wouter Bos expects the economy to grow less strongly than earlier forecast. His comments coincide with a new figures from the government’s economic policy unit CPB which has revised its growth estimates for this year downwards to 1.75% and 2% in 2009.

The CPB figures, from a leaked report, were reported widely in the media on Wednesday.
They say that the CPB also expects inflation to rise 2.75% this year. Last year the increase was 1.6%.
The cabinet’s target to achieve a 1% budget surplus by the end of the current cabinet period in 2011 is not under threat, the CPB said.
In an interview for RTL tv on Tuesday evening. Bos said he now expects the economic growth of between 2.25% and 1.6%, the original forecast and the IMF’s estimate for Europe as a whole.
Bos has been criticised for not taking the impact of the US credit crisis seriously enough. Central bank president Nout Wellink said earlier he expects the economy to grow between 1.5% and 2.5% this year, and urged Bos to prepare to take action.
The new economic figures are central to Bos’ spring budget statement in which the government revises its spending plans.

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