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Dutch Consumer Sentiment Reaches Highest in More Than Two Years

Oct. 18 (Bloomberg) -- Dutch consumer confidence improved in October and reached the highest in more than two years, indicating the country’s recession is easing further.

A gauge of consumer sentiment in the euro area’s fifth-largest economy rose to minus 27 from minus 33 the previous month, the Central Bureau of Statistics, or CBS, said in a statement in The Hague today.

“Consumers’ expectations about their own financial situation in the next 12 months and in the past 12 months were less negative than in September,” the CBS said. “For the second time in a row, they thought the time to buy expensive items, like washing machines and TV sets, was more favorable than in the preceding month.”

The Netherlands is in its third recession since the global financial crisis started in 2008 and has been in breach of the European Union’s deficit limit of 3 percent of gross domestic product since 2009. The budget shortfall will widen to 3.3 percent of GDP in 2014 from an expected 3.2 percent this year even after the government introduced an additional austerity package for next year, planning agency CPB said yesterday.

The CPB predicts the economy will shrink 1.25 percent this year before growing 0.75 percent in 2014. GDP declined 0.1 percent in the second quarter after contracting 0.4 percent in the three months through March.

To contact the reporter on this story: Fred Pals in Amsterdam at fpals@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Craig Stirling at cstirling1@bloomberg.net

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