Economy to slow down next year, says macro-economic unit chief

The Dutch economy will experience a sharp slow-down in growth next year and may even contract, Coen Teulings, head of the government’s macro-economic policy unit CPB, is quoted as saying on Monday.

Teulings was speaking at the publication of the book Europa in Crisis which he co-wrote.
While stating that economic growth will slow down, Teulings was unwilling to give exact figures, the Financieele Dagblad said. The CBP traditionally publishes amended growth forecasts in mid-December.
However, the statement makes it increasingly likely the government will be forced to make more cuts on top of the €18bn package already agreed, the paper says.
More cuts
This will be difficult to sell politically because the anti-Islam PVV, which supports the government in terms of economic policy, has already said it will not agree to more cuts.
Earlier this month, the Dutch central bank said the economy grew by just 0.2% in the third quarter and will contract by 0.1% in the fourth. However, the calculations have a 0.3% margin of error because of the uncertainty of the current climate.
The lack of growth is due to problems on the financial markets, falling consumer confidence and mounting unemployment. World trade is also on the decline, the central bank said.
The book itself states that while only part of the Netherlands’ prosperity is due to ‘Europe’, the collapse of monetary union will seriously damage the country. Free trade has had a much greater impact than the euro itself, Nos television quotes the book as saying.
PVV leader Geert Wilders said last week he had commissioned an investigation into the benefits brought by monetary union and would call for a referendum on a return to the guilder if such a move would boost the economy.

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