Dutch Economy to Grow 1.25% in 2015 on Exports and Investments

The Dutch government’s planning agency raised its growth forecast for this year and sees the economy expanding 1.25 percent in 2015 on strengthening exports and investments.

Gross domestic product is expected to grow 0.75 percent this year, up from a December projection of 0.5 percent, the The Hague-based agency known as CPB said in a preliminary forecast today. That compares with a European Commission prediction of 1 percent expansion in 2014 and 1.3 percent next year.

“The upswing in the global and the European economy is driving Dutch growth via increased exports,” CPB said. At the same time, domestic investments are supporting economic expansion. As of 2915, domestic consumption also will start rising again, CPB said.

Last year, the Netherlands exited its third economic recession since the global financial crisis started in 2008. GDP grew by 0.7 percent in the fourth quarter, the most since 2010, when Greece and Ireland received international bailouts.

“The CPB numbers show the Netherlands is recovering from the crisis,” Dutch Finance Minister Jeroen Dijsselbloem said in an e-mailed statement. “Based on this data, additional budget cuts will not be necessary. The state finances have been put on a path to recovery.”

The country’s budget deficit is seen at 2.9 percent of GDP this year, less than the 3.3 percent shortfall predicted previously. That number is expected to narrow to 2.1 percent of GDP next year, CPB said.

The planning agency forecasts also show unemployment will decline from 7.25 percent in 2014 to 7 percent in 2015.

The CPB is scheduled to publish its final forecasts on March 18.

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