Coronavirus will almost certainly put Dutch economy in recession: Planning Office

Beursplein 5, home of the Euronext Amsterdam stock exchange
Beursplein 5, home of the Euronext Amsterdam stock exchangetupungatoDepositPhotosDeposit Photos

The outbreak of the coronavirus will almost certainly result in a recession for the Dutch economy, according to Pieter Hasekamp, director of central planning office CPB. "We are still calculating, but a recession is almost inevitable," he said in an interview with the Telegraaf.

In early March the CPB forecast said that the Dutch economy will grow 1.4 percent this year, if the coronavirus was brought under control quickly. If not, the economic growth would be 0.9 percent or even less, the CPB said earlier this month.

The office will publish new estimations on Thursday, Hasekamp said. These new scenarios show that a recession is basically inevitable, he said. "Even if it only takes a few months, if things keep plummeting as fast as they do now, the economy will quickly drop into the minus."

According to the director, the depth and length of the recession will depend on how long daily life in the Netherlands will have to be at a standstill. And there are too many uncertainties around that to give exact predictions. "At the moment, public health is paramount. But it would be weird if we did not also worry about the economic consequences now."