Consumer confidence falls: ING

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New research by Dutch bank ING suggests consumer confidence in the Netherlands economy has fallen for the first time in a year. The report, published Wednesday, shows that some 70 percent of people living in the country see unemployment as the biggest problem facing the economy.

The unemployment rate in the Netherlands is estimated at 8.6 percent. “However, it will be years before the unemployment rate returns to the normal historical level of five percent,” the report says.

Of those surveyed, 43 percent of participants rated the country’s economy as being poor to very bad, an increase over figures released in June when 38 percent gave the same answer.

The rise in negative outlook could be tied to the recent poor performance of companies in the Amsterdam Exchange Index, a collection of firms listed on the Euronext Amsterdam stock exchange, ING says.