Dutch 2009 growth to contract 0.75 pct: planners

9th December 2008, Comments 0 comments

The planning authority expects economic growth to contract 0.75 percent next year.

THE HAGUE – Dutch economic growth should contract 0.75 percent next year in response to the global financial turmoil, the planning authority said Monday, countering an earlier government projection of 1.25 percent expansion.

"Next year, the Dutch economy should see negative growth of 0.75 percent," the central planning agency said, warning that Dutch exporters would be especially hard hit, with investment suffering from a credit squeeze and lower production.

"The uncertainties in financial markets are very great and this is reflected in the economy," the head of the agency, Coen Teulings, told a press conference.

The centre-left Dutch government in September forecast growth in 2009 of 1.25 percent. But Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende said Friday there was a "strong chance" the economy would fall into recession next year and would not experience growth until 2010.

Teulings called on authorities to "improve controls on financial markets" to prevent future banking crises.

He also paid tribute to European "monetary union and coordination, which is resisting protectionism, which would be very bad for small countries" such as the Netherlands.

[AFP / Expatica]

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