The Dutch budget deficit will remain around 3.6% of gross national product for the next two years, well above the eurozone limit of 3%, according to new European Commission figures published on Friday.
The disappointing budget deficit forecast is one of several which show the Dutch economy performing worse than many other EU countries. In Europe as a whole, ‘we expect economic activity to gradually accelerate,’ the Commission statement said.
The Commission has also revised its 0.3% growth figure for the Dutch economy to a 0.6% contraction. Although this will convert to 1.1% growth in 2014, the Netherlands will continue to trail most other European countries, the Commission said. It puts average eurozone growth at 1.4% next year.
Dutch inflation, at 2.6% next year, also outstrips the eurozone average of 1.5%.
The figures for the Dutch economy do not include the €3.2bn windfall which finance minister Jeroen Dijsselbloem announced last week.
European economic affairs commisioner Olli Rehn said in a statement that despite the pressure on short-term growth, there is ‘growing investor confidence in the future’.
‘We must stay the course of reform and avoid any loss of momentum, which could undermine the turnaround in confidence that is underway, delaying the needed upswing in growth and job creation,’ Rehn said.
The figures come on top of a string of gloomy economic indicators from the Dutch nationals statistics office CBS on Thursday. They showed unemployment rising to 7.5% while consumer confidence reached a record low.
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