December 8, 2008

December 2008 forecast: Tough times ahead

The past several months have been outright turbulent. The worldwide economic prospects have worsened at a rapid pace. This has not left the Dutch economy unaffected, open as it is. Growth is expected to fall sharply, from 3½% last year to 2¼% this year. Shrinkage of ¾% is even forecast for next year, while light recovery is expected in 2010.

Unemployment is starting to rise. One ray of hope is that inflation is decreasing due to the lower oil and raw material prices. The government's budget surplus will turn into a deficit of 1.2% GDP next year. In 2010 the budget deficit will grow further. The state debt will increase substantially this year as the result of interventions in the financial sector.

This document is in Dutch.