Dutch economy fully recovers from financial crisis

By the end of this year the Dutch gross domestic product is expected to top the real level seen in 2008 for the first time since the financial crisis. This is according to De Nederlandsche Bank's latest half-yearly forecast, which was published on Monday.

According to the forecast, the Dutch economy will grow a projected 2 percent this year, the highest figure recorded since 2008. The bank expects that the Dutch economy will, on average, maintain this growth pace in 2016 and 2017, which means that the economic activity will develop more favorably than previously foreseen.

Exports remains the driving force behind the economic growth. The bank expects that the international environment will improve further, partly due to the depreciation of the euro, low level of oil prices and a pick-up in world trade growth.

Domestic spending will also contribute to economic growth - a development unseen since 2011. Private consumption will show a significant increase of 2 percent this year, for the first time since the credit crisis broke out. This can be attributed to a strong increase in real disposable income and improved sentiment.

According to the forecast, unemployment should decline from 7.4 percent in 2014 to 7 percent this year and 6.9 percent and 6.7 percent in 2016 and 2017 respectively. The reason for the moderate decline is that the pick-up in job creation will go hand in hand with a growing labor supply.

Government fiances are expected to benefit from the improved economy. The deficit is expected to drop from 1.6 percent of the GDP this year to 0.6 percent of GDP in 2017. The government debt is also expected to decrease from 68.9 percent of GDP to 64.9 percent of GDP over the same period.