Ahead of key figures, experts predict Dutch economy still in recession

Leading bank economists are expecting key figures on the Dutch economy to be published on Wednesday will show the Netherlands is still in recession.

Experts from Rabobank, ABN Amro and ING said on Tuesday they expect the contraction to be between 0.2% and 0.4% compared with the first quarter.

 

The government’s macro-economic planning agency CPB and the national statistics office CBS are both due to publish their latest forecasts on Wednesday.

 

Exports

 

‘Exports would appear to be the only plus point at the moment,’ Rabobank economist Tim Legierse told news agency ANP. Figures published by the CBS on Tuesday show a further deterioration in retail sales.

 

The Dutch economy shrank by 0.4% in the first quarter of the year.

 

Cuts

 

Earlier the Financieele Dagblad reported the cabinet may be planning to cut spending by an extra €2bn in order to free up more money for investment in industry.

 

Sources in The Hague told the paper the cabinet hopes to generate an extra €2bn on top of the €6bn already in the pipeline, to invest in the economy.

Before the summer, ministers said they were planning to make cuts totalling €6bn, in line with demands by Brussels. The cuts are necessary to ensure the Dutch budget deficit is below the eurozone limit of 3% next year.

 

Budget

 

The measures will be published on budget day, which takes place on the third Tuesday in September.

 

 

A number of plans have already been leaked. These include a pay freeze for public sector workers, excluding the healthcare sector, a reduction in local authority grants and a tax band freeze, which means people will qualify for the highest tax band more quickly.

 

Measures to boost efficiency in the healthcare sector are slated to contribute further savings.

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