Dutch people upbeat about economy

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With the new year around the corner the Dutch are a bit more positive about the future of the Dutch economy than previous years, as shown by results of a study by the Social and Cultural Planning Bureau (SCP), Monday.The Dutch are also satisfied about their own financial situation. A whopping 79 percent rates their financial situation as adequate, and 72 percent of the surveyed does not expect a deterioration in the next few months.

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The more positive reports about our economy reassure the Dutch. 'The general perception is that the worst is behind us and from now on things will only get better. This improves the way the Dutch view the future compared to the past few years,' explains researcher Josje den Ridder of SCP. 60 percent of the surveyed expects the economy to either remain the same or to even improve slightly.

The housing market is surrounded by a positive atmosphere, thanks to the upbeat reports about the economy. Den Ridder points to the improving housing market and statements from prime minister Rutte about the country doing better. 'The positive reports cause a sharp drop in the number of people who are pessimistic about the economy.'

Still, the Dutch are less optimistic than the Germans. Only 51 percent rates the national economy sufficient. 'The Germans were much more pessimistic about the economy at the start of the recession, in 2008,' according to Den Ridder. 'When it turned out they were doing better than most other countries in 2013, they felt better. The opposite happened in the Netherlands. During the summer of 2008 the Dutch thought the recession would not be too bad. Now that the recovery doesn't happen as fast as in other countries, the Dutch don't feel too optimistic.'

The trust in homeland politics is still relatively low, according to the report, but there is hope yet, according to the SCP researcher. The drop in trust in politics from earlier years does not continue, 'because less people are unsure,' says Den Ridder. 'By the signing of various agreements the political arena is once again calm. Early 2013, there was still a lot of uncertainty about the future: there were concerns about pensions, cuts and the health care system, causing negotiations again and again among politicians in The Hague. That seems to be behind us now, the peace has returned, and with that, increasing confidence.'

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