Brussels: Dutch economy to grow by 2% this year, 2.1% in 2016
The Dutch economy has entered a stable growth path that can continue in the future. After seven years the Netherlands has finally returned to the economic level before the crisis in 2008 and 2009. Though unemployment is still a concern and the gross domestic product per capita is still 2.8 percent lower than in 2008. This is according to the European Commission's Autumn Report on the European economy, which was released on Thursday, the Financieele Dagblad reports. For this year the Commission expects economic growth in the Netherlands at 2.0 percent. Next year the expectation is at 2.1 percent, and 2.3 percent for 2017. For both 2016 and 2017, the Commission has raised its growth expectations slightly. The Netherlands' budget also looks somewhat more positive. For this year the Commission expects a deficit of 2.1 percent of the gross domestic product. Next year they expect it will be down to 1.5 percent, and even further down to 1.2 percent for 2017. The Commission also expects that the national debt, which reached a high point at 68.6 percent of GDP this year, will start decreasing again next year - 67.9 percent in 2016 and 66.9 percent in 2017. Unemployment in the Netherlands is still a concern for the Commission - there are currently 130 thousand fewer people working than before the crisis. But there is hope. The unemployment rate decreased from 7.4 percent of the workforce last year, to 6.9 percent this year. And the Commission expects this trend to continue. The unemployment rate is expected to fall to 6.6 percent next year and 6.3 percent in 2017. The European Commission also expects that inflation will start picking up again from 0.2 percent this year, to an average of 1.2 percent next year and 1.5 percent in 2017.