The Dutch economy contracted in the past year, and economists predict by more than 4% compared to the previous year. The fact that our economy is performing better than that of Germany, for example, is partly due to the structure of the economy, which places great emphasis on services rather than production. We also have a good digital infrastructure, which ensures that we can work and shop from home.
Sandra Philippine, chief economist at ABN AMRO, says ahead of Tuesday’s release of the Netherlands’ economic growth numbers for 2020.
The Netherlands is well represented in this service. “If people don’t have to go to work to do this, then the sectors will largely remain out of harm’s way,” adds professor of macroeconomics Sueder van Weinbergen at the University of Amsterdam (UvA). “The structure of the Dutch economy means that the Netherlands is less affected than other countries.”
Compared to other countries, the Netherlands also has good digital infrastructure. “Entrepreneurs are very innovative about this,” says Filipine.
Germany reported a contraction of 5%, the UK 10% and Spain 11%. “The extent to which the economy is affected also depends on the health impact of the country with the virus,” says international macroeconomics professor Charles Van Mariwick at Utrecht University (UU).
There is no growth or contraction in the last quarter
But the fact that the Netherlands is more of a service country than a producing country plays a more important role in the decline, which was relatively better than expected, according to all economists. “We are strong in financial services, consulting and engineering. These services are also exported and provide a lot of job opportunities.”
The massive support package from the government also keeps the damage to the economy relatively limited. According to Professor Van Mariwijk, in the Netherlands compared to other countries, “enthusiastic support” was provided by the government. “Thanks to government support, for example, unemployment is limited,” says Van Weinberg.
“The unprecedented support measures prevented the first spring strike from operating, and mitigated the second blow,” Philippine says. Thus, ABN AMRO maintains 0 percent economic growth for the fourth quarter of 2020: no growth, no deflation.