SINT MAARTEN/THE NETHERLANDS – The Dutch economy will shrink by 3.5% this year because of the coronavirus outbreak and all sectors of the economy will be hit, according to new forecasts by ABN Amro economists.
The ABN Amro forecasts are based on a two-month lockdown until mid-May. If cafes and restaurants reopen from mid-May, the economy will buck up over the summer, although the impact of the closures will be felt for the rest of the year.
The leisure industries will be hardest hit by the downturn, with the hospitality, culture, tourism and sports sectors taking a 15% hit.
On Thursday, the government’s economic think-tank CPB said in a worst-case scenario the coronavirus crisis could plunge the Dutch economy into deep depression, with GDP declining by up to 7.7%.
The CPB has analysed four scenarios for the impact of coronavirus on the economy in 2020 and 2021, based on the duration of restrictions on physical contact and the severity of the economic impact.
All four scenarios result in recession, with GDP declining by between 1.2% and 7.7% in 2020, the CPB said. Under three of the four scenarios, the economic downturn will be more severe than in the 2008–2009 crisis, when GDP fell by 3.7%.