Netherlands had 0.5 pct budget surplus in 2nd quarter of 2016

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The Netherlands had a budget surplus of 0.5 percent of the gross domestic product in the second quarter of this year, Statistics Netherlands reported on Monday based on seasonally adjusted figures for the second quarter of 2016.

"The economy is picking up. As a result, the government revenue increases, while expenditure has remained the same for years", Pieter Hein van Mulligen, chief economist at Statistics Netherlands, said to NU.nl. An increase in employment opportunity also contribute to the reduction of the budget deficit. More people working means more premium-income for the government.

Other contributing factors to the budget surplus for the 2nd quarter includes employees receiving their vacation pay leading to higher consumer spending, as well as the low interest rates. All these together outweigh the decline in gas revenue due to lower production in Groningen.

While the 2nd quarter in itself does not give a complete picture of the Dutch economy, Van Mulligen still calls the budget surplus a milestone. It is the first time since the 4th quarter of 2008 that the Dutch government got more money than it spent.

Statistics Netherlands expects that the budget deficit will mount to 1.1 percent this year and 0.7 percent next year.

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