AMSTERDAM – The Dutch government's financial think-tank has joined the central bank in forecasting a recession in 2013 as a result of waning global trade prospects.
The Central Planning Bureau Wednesday said the economy would shrink 0.5 percent, in contrast to its previous forecast of 0.75 percent growth. Last week the central bank predicted a 0.6 percent contraction, reversing its previous forecast of a 0.6 percent expansion.
Because the recession will likely dent tax revenues, both are predicting that the country's budget deficit will be slightly above the 3 percent of GDP limit mandated by European rules.
Finance Minister Jeroen Dijsselbloem said Tuesday he was aware of the worsening projections but that he has no plans to alter the budget. The centrist governing coalition's 'austerity' budget both increases taxes and cuts spending.