Next year the economy will grow 1.25%, the CPB said. The budget deficit will hit 2.9% this year – just under the eurozone limit – and fall again to 2.2% in 2015. However, there will be no improvement on the jobs front until 2015.
Companies are still reluctant to take on new staff, the CPB says. ‘Unemployment will fall from 650,000 to 635,000 next year,’ the organisation said. Exports will grow, as will consumer spending. The forecasts are in line with the CPB's March report.
Finance minister Jeroen Dijsselbloem said the figures are further evidence that the Netherlands is beginning to recover from the crisis. ‘We are not there yet,’ he told Nos television. ‘Unemployment remains high and the government’s finances are not yet in order. So there are enough reasons to keep on track.’
The Dutch central bank said last week it expects the economy to grow just 0.2% in 2014, partly due to lower gas sales stemming from the mild winter.
The bank forecast growth of 1.6% for both 2015 and 2016.