The contraction of the economy is worrying entrepreneurs. ‘The exports that are important to the Netherlands fell by almost 2 percent and investments are stagnating. That affects the broad prosperity in the longer term,’ say VNO-NCW and MKB-Nederland in response to figures from the Central Bureau of Statistics (CBS).
The combination of high interest rates, persistent tightness on the labor market and declining consumption is now being felt in many sectors. The figures show that the Netherlands is doing worse than neighboring countries in the first quarter of this year. That forces us to face the facts, think the employers.
‘On Monday it also appeared that the industry in our country continues to shrink. Worrying, because this sector strongly determines the ups and downs of our economy (about 20 percent) and is crucial for the future if Europe remains autonomous.’
Earlier, the unions said that the economic contraction is an encouragement to continue to fight for higher wages. The employers’ organizations say that ‘where possible’ wages should rise, but ‘although vigilance is more and more appropriate here’.
For example, wage costs are also rising sharply, according to VNO-NCW and MKB-Nederland. ‘In total, entrepreneurs see their wage costs rise by about 17 billion euros this year and last year.’ The organizations call it ‘important to monitor the balance with each other and to get the economy back on track.’