Economic growth in the Netherlands looks set to be stronger than previously expected this year, as the easing of coronavirus measures has sparked a boom in consumer spending, the government’s main policy adviser CPB said on Friday.
The euro zone’s fifth largest economy is now expected to grow 3.8% in 2021 and 3.2% in 2022, the CPB said, following an unprecedented 3.8% contraction last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The CPB in June predicted 3.2% growth this year and 3.3% in 2022.
The Dutch economy recovered from a recession in the second quarter of the year, a first estimate earlier this week showed, as the reopening of bars, restaurants and stores helped the economy expand 3.1% compared with the previous quarter.
Broad government support has helped many companies survive the health crisis and has kept unemployment near historically low levels over the past year.
This support is set to be phased out as the COVID-19 pandemic wanes, but this will only slightly increase unemployment, the CPB said, as many companies are already scrambling for staff.
Economic growth will also help the government to reduce its debt next year, while its deficit is set to drop from over 5% to less than 2% in 2022.