OECD Economic Surveys: Netherlands

Frequency :
Every 18 months
ISSN :
1999-0367 (online)
ISSN :
1995-3305 (print)
DOI :
10.1787/19990367
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OECD’s periodic surveys of the Ducth economy. Each edition surveys the major challenges faced by the country, evaluates the short-term outlook, and makes specific policy recommendations. Special chapters take a more detailed look at specific challenges. Extensive statistical information is included in charts and graphs.

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OECD Economic Surveys: Netherlands 2014

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Author(s):
OECD
Publication Date :
24 Apr 2014
Pages :
120
ISBN :
9789264219564 (EPUB) ; 9789264206915 (PDF) ; 9789264206908 (print)
DOI :
10.1787/eco_surveys-nld-2014-en

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This 2014 edition of OECD's Economic Survey of the Netherlands examines recent economic developments, policies and prospects. It also includes special chapters covering boosting the development of efficient SMEs and making the banking sector more resilient.

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    Basic statistics of the Netherlands, 2012

    This Survey is published on the responsibility of the Economic and Development Review Committee of the OECD, which is charged with the examination of the economic situation of member countries.The economic situation and policies of Netherlands were reviewed by the Committee on 6 March 2014. The draft report was then revised in the light of the discussions and given final approval as the agreed report of the whole Committee on 27 March 2014.The Secretariat’s draft report was prepared for the Committee by Rafał Kierzenkowski under the supervision of Pierre Beynet. Research assistance was provided by Gabor Fulop. benefited from external consultancy work done by Olena Havrylchyk. benefited from the co-operation of Jochebed Kastaneer, seconded from the Netherlands Ministry of Economic Affairs.The previous Survey of Netherlands was issued in June 2012.

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    Executive summary
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    Assessment and recommendations
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    Progress in main structural reforms

    This annex reviews action taken on recommendations from previous Surveys. They cover the following areas: public finances, financial markets, labour market, transport system and housing policies. Each recommendation is followed by a note of actions taken since the June 2012 Surveys. Recommendations that are new in this Surveys are listed in the relevant chapter.

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  • Expand / Collapse Hide / Show all Abstracts Thematic chapters

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      Making the banking sector more resilient and reducing household debt

      Dutch banks were put under heavy strains early in the global downturn and have comparatively weak financial buffers to cope with new shocks. Falling house prices have increased the share of households with negative home equity to nearly 35% for home-owning households and 40% for mortgage holders. Even though defaults have so far been limited, mortgage amortisation is low and risks are concentrated among younger borrowers who often do not have sufficient resources to cope with adverse shocks. Banks are very large relative to the size of the domestic economy, have sizeable cross-border exposures and rely significantly on wholesale funding. Resolution procedures should be strengthened to reduce the potential cost for the taxpayer and the regulator’s tools available to reduce risks should be expanded. In particular, banks should set aside sufficient provisions for expected losses and problem loans, which requires some harmonisation of the definition of non-performing loans across banks. Higher capital buffers would bolster financial stability and help ensure access to market funding while lowering its cost. Welcome measures have been taken to encourage household deleveraging, but deeper and broader steps are needed to bolster financial stability and improve consumer protection when the housing market starts to recover durably and over the medium term. The stock of existing mortgages should be gradually converted into amortising mortgages, the cap on the loan-to-value ratio reduced significantly below 100% and housing subsidies to homeownership cut more decisively.

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      Boosting the development of efficient SMEs

      Entrepreneurship is an important driver of economic growth, job creation and competitiveness. However, the small and medium-sized enterprises (SME) sector has been severely affected by the crisis, with access to bank finance being particularly difficult. Various government-sponsored schemes have been introduced to ease credit conditions. Developing alternatives to bank lending options for SME finance is important but will take time. Restructuring banks’ balance sheets is essential to step up bank lending to SMEs in the medium term. Beyond financing issues, boosting innovation would support productivity gains, and SME competitiveness and growth. Also, easing labour market regulation would further support SME development. A large share of small businesses consists of self-employed with no employees. The tax system should minimise distortions for the creation and expansion of businesses. Despite significant progress made in lowering barriers to entrepreneurship, there is scope to further reduce administrative burdens.

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