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2006

Competitive Position of Dutch Trade and Industry Improving

According to the Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis (CPB), economic growth in the Netherlands will be 2.75 percent this year, accelerating to 3 percent in 2007. As a result of growth in consumption, investments, and exports, the competitive position of Dutch trade and industry is improving, for the first time in six years.

Exports have been the driving force for economic growth during recent years, and as of this year, domestic expenditure will also make an important contribution to the Dutch economy. Consumption will increase by 1.25 percent in both 2006 and 2007, and investments are projected to grow considerably—by 8 percent this year and 5 percent the next.

The labor market is also showing positive changes with unemployment falling steadily and employment rising since the end of 2005. Unemployment is expected to decrease by 115,000 jobs, to 5 percent of the labor force by next year. Accordingly, purchasing power is predicted to grow by 1 percent in both 2006 and 2007.

Source: CPB Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis

March 23, 2006