Low country indeed: as Italy prepares to dig itself even deeper into a fiscal hole, the Netherlands has somehow managed to reduce its public debt by 5%, almost unheard of in modern economies, according to Rabobank. The analysis notes:
- The Netherland’s current public debt, at 52.4% of GDP, is far below the Eurozone average of over 85% of GDP as well as the EU’s budget guidance of no more than 60% of national GDP. In fact the government ran a surplus of (yes, you read that right) of 11 billion Euros in 2018.
- All that gives the Netherlands substantial room to maneuver in terms of government spending, and some loosening of the pursestrings may be in order, because, as Rabobank also points out…
- Economic growth is forecast to decline from 2.7% in 2018 to 1.7% this year and 1.6% in 2020, as industry production is stagnant and consumers pessimistic as Brexit chaos threatens Dutch commerce with one of its biggest trade partners.