Netherlands flag Netherlands: Economic outline

Economic Outline

Economic Indicators

For the latest updates on the key economic responses from governments to address the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, please consult the IMF's policy tracking platform Policy Responses to COVID-19.

The Netherlands is the sixth-largest economic power in the Eurozone and the fifth-largest exporter of goods. The country is very open to trade and consequently to the global economic conjuncture. For the past few years, the recovery in Europe had allowed the Dutch economy to grow at a dynamic pace, although trade uncertainty at the global level, the Brexit process and most of all the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic caused the Dutch economy to contract. Nevertheless, the country’s GDP rebounded in 2021 (+4.9%) and 2022 (+4.5%), on the back of solid export and investment growth (IMF). For 2023, a set of measures has been announced to mitigate the impact of high energy prices and support domestic demand. However, the decrease in households’ real disposable income, tightening financial conditions and the weak external environment caused by the Russia-Ukraine conflict are expected to weigh heavily on growth, which is forecast at 0.8% for the year. Rising investments and a positive contribution from external trade should help the country’s economy grow at a faster pace in 2024 (+1.7% - IMF).

In recent years the government’s fiscal policy has been expansionary; nevertheless, the Dutch public finances remained sound, recording budget surpluses. The trend inverted as a consequence of the fiscal measures taken to contain the Covid-19-induced crisis and then the effects of high inflation prompted by the conflict in Ukraine. Government revenues picked up in 2022 driven by income taxes and Dutch gas fields, contributing to a reduction in the fiscal deficit, which stood at 1.2% of GDP. In light of an expansionary budget that includes a price cap on electricity and gas, a reduction in the excise duty on fuel, and a rise of the minimum wage by 10%, the government deficit is forecast to increase to 1.4% of GDP in 2023 (IMF – 4% according to the EU Commission) and 2.1% next year. Similarly, the debt-to-GDP ratio is projected to increase from 50.3% of GDP in 2022 to 52.4% in 2023 and 53.2% in 2024 (EU Commission). Fueled by high energy prices, inflation reached a record level of 12% in 2022. The aforementioned price cap should contribute to a reduction in headline inflation, forecast at 8% in 2023, before the rate returns closer to the ECB’s target by 2024 (2.7%  IMF).

The Netherlands presents a very high income per capita, which is distributed in a relatively equal manner. The GDP per capita is above the EU average and was estimated at USD 69,715 in 2022 (PPP – data IMF). The Dutch labour market remains tight, with the unemployment rate decreasing to 3.5% in 2022 (from 4.2% one year earlier). Nominal wages have been growing, although not as much as inflation. For 2023 and 2024, the IMF expects the unemployment rate to increase slightly to 3.9% and 4%, respectively.

Main Indicators 20222023 (E)2024 (E)2025 (E)2026 (E)
GDP (billions USD) 1,010.191,092.751,157.911,207.531,254.38
GDP (Constant Prices, Annual % Change)
GDP per Capita (USD) 57,42861,77065,19567,79870,232
General Government Balance (in % of GDP) 0.7-1.9-2.5-2.6-2.6
General Government Gross Debt (in % of GDP) 50.149.548.648.749.0
Inflation Rate (%) n/a4.
Unemployment Rate (% of the Labour Force)
Current Account (billions USD) 93.1183.0687.7290.6392.37
Current Account (in % of GDP)

Source: IMF – World Economic Outlook Database, 2016

Note: (e) Estimated Data

Monetary Indicators 20162017201820192020
Euro (EUR) - Average Annual Exchange Rate For 1 GHS

Source: World Bank, 2015


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Latest Update: November 2023