New push for transparency in economic analysis

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Economic analysts from ING and ABN Amro have differing predictions on the state of construction in The Netherlands this year. ABN Amro says that there will be a 1 percent decrease in production this year, whereas ING thinks there will be 3.5 percent growth. Analysts from the Economic Institute for Construction now want to know how these numbers are drawn up, BNR reports. 

Director of the Economic Institute for Construction, Taco van Hoek, tells BNR that he wants to know on what basis these predictions are made. "It is a pity that you never know what is behind the prognoses with banks and some marketing bureaus", he says.

According to Van Hoek, the Institute has a yearly congress in which the steps taken to reach a prediction for productivity in the construction sector are laid out clearly. "We make a report of 150 pages: you can follow step by step what the starting point for estimates are. The most important thing is, I think, that you try to supply information with these kinds of estimates. That you have an idea of which points produce which results, where the most important insecurities lie and that you can also update matters as soon as something changes again."

Van Hoek says that the Institute's own estimates predict a slight decline this year, which he says will be a transition year. He says that there are "pipe line effects" in construction. "We know what is supplied with permits, and what is in the order books."

The aftermath of 2012 and 2013 is still in effect as well. There is still a backlog of building permits yet to be okayed with homes. Van Hoek says that the building of new homes will still be under pressure this year, despite there being signs of recovery.

The recovery is on its way, then, "but it will not come on time to let the production for this year rise higher." For 2015, Van Hoek feels more positive, and even expects double growth figures for the construction of new hopes.

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