First signs of economic recovery

The Dutch economy will shrink at the same rate in 2010 as is forecast for this year, signalling the first small signs of recovery, according to the latest figures by the government’s macroeconomic think-tank CPB.

In June, the CPB forecast that the economy would shrink an additional 0.5% next year but new figures leaked by the press on Tuesday evening now indicate that the level of contraction will remain at 4.75% in 2010 (zero growth).
Unemployment figures are also more favourable, report various media. In its latest forecast the CPB expects 615,000 people (8% of the working population) to be unemployed next year. In June this was expected to be 730,000. The prognosis for this year is 410,000 (5% of the working population).
The budget deficit next year is expected to be 6.3% of gross national income (around €38bn), a half percentage point lower than forecast in June, the papers say. The shortfall this year is put at 4% according to the CPB’s latest calculations.
The CPB statistics are the basis for the cabinet’s discussions on the annual budget which started on Tuesday and will continue in the coming weeks. The budget will be presented to parliament on September 15.
The starting point for the budget talks is that every ministry will be responsible for finding a solution for its own financial shortfall, reports Wednesday’s Volksrant. The health ministry in particular has overspent considerably this year, the paper says.

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