The Netherlands still has the highest creditworthiness: Fitch
Credit rating agency Fitch has left its rating for Dutch creditworthiness at the highest AAA level, the agency reported in its six-monthly assessment of the Dutch creditworthiness status. The Netherlands also has top status with the two major rating agencies Standard & Poor's (S&P) and Moody's.
This highest rating indicates that it is particularly safe to lend money to the Dutch state. The prognosis for the coming period is also stable, according to Fitch. This means that there will be no downgrading of the AAA status of the Netherlands for the time being.
Fitch points out that the growth of the Dutch economy in the first half of this year has been stronger than expected. Especially in the second quarter, when the economy grew by 2.6 percent, according to the credit rating agency, one of the strongest recovery periods in Europe since the coronavirus pandemic.
For the full year, Fitch has also become more positive about growth. The strong recovery in the Netherlands is partly due to exports, but also because households are spending more money. Furthermore, Fitch points to the "record low" unemployment rate of 3.6 percent.
Fitch does point out, however, that the current high energy price diminishes the growth prospects. High prices for gas and electricity erode the purchasing power of households. Foreign demand will also weaken as economic activity in Europe as a whole will slow down, Fitch expects. This is mainly because the chance increases that Russia will completely shut off the gas tap to Europe, although the Netherlands is less susceptible to this than other countries. Furthermore, the rise in interest rates is slowing down investment in the housing market.
Fitch calls the current high inflation a temporary phenomenon. Currently, inflation in the Netherlands is 11.6 percent according to the European measurement method. This will be 5 percent next year and about 2 percent a year later, Fitch said. According to the experts, this is partly because it is clear where the higher prices come from, but also because wages are not rising too fast.
Reporting by ANP