Europe > Netherlands, The

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Mr. Christian H Ebeke and Jesse Siminitz
We analyze the impact of trade policy uncertainty on investment in the euro area. Our identification strategy assumes that countries that are relatively more dependent on global trade networks exhibit a higher sensitivity of investment with respect to trade uncertainty. We find that the investment-to-GDP ratio is on average 0.8 percentage points lower for five quarters following a one standard deviation increase in the level of trade uncertainty. We demonstrate that these results are unlikely to be driven by omitted variables and that they are robust to different measures of trade uncertainty and trade openness. Our analysis suggests that the detrimental effect of trade tensions goes beyond lower trade growth, as uncertainty can reduce investment and the economy’s long-term growth potential.
International Monetary Fund. European Dept.
This Selected Issues paper focuses on a steady increase in current account surpluses in ”Surplus 3” countries—Germany, the Netherlands, and Switzerland—since the mid-1990s. In Germany and the Netherlands, nonfinancial corporations seem to be behind the rising surpluses. In these countries, increasing corporate profits have not been converted into dividends, keeping a lid on consumption. In Switzerland, household savings seem to explain the bulk of the current account surplus: both mandatory and voluntary savings have been on an increasing trend since 2000. Trending net contributions to pension funds since 2000 and rising equity contribution for housing purchases are likely drivers.
International Monetary Fund. European Dept.
This paper aims to provide European Union (EU), while recognizing that the choice of whether to remain in the EU is for U.K. voters to make and that their decisions will reflect both economic and noneconomic factors. The question of EU membership is both a political and an economic issue, and the referendum has sparked a wide-ranging debate on the United Kingdom’s role in the EU. Given the range of plausible alternative arrangements with the EU, the number of channels by which countries could be affected and the range of possible effects on the United Kingdom and other economies are broad.
Statistical Office of the European Communities, International Labour Office, International Monetary Fund, Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, United Nations, and World Bank

Abstract

For most citizens, buying a residential property (dwelling) is the most important transaction during their lifetime. Residential properties represent the most significant component of households’ expenses and, at the same time, their most valuable assets. The Residential Property Prices Indices (RPPIs) are index numbers measuring the rate at which the prices of residential properties are changing over time. RPPIs are key statistics not only for citizens and households across the world, but also for economic and monetary policy makers. Among their professional uses, they serve, for example, to monitor macroeconomic imbalances and risk exposure of the financial sector. This Handbook provides, for the first time, comprehensive guidelines for the compilation of RPPIs and explains in depth the methods and best practices used to calculate an RPPI. It also examines the underlying economic and statistical concepts and defines the principles guiding the methodological and practical choices for the compilation of the indices. The Handbook primarily addresses official statisticians in charge of producing residential property price indices; at the same time, it addresses the overall requirement on RPPIs by providing a harmonised methodological and practical framework to all parties interested in the compilation of such indices. The RPPIs Handbook has been written by leading academics in index number theory and by recognised experts in RPPIs compilation. Its development has been coordinated by Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union, with the collaboration of the International Labour Organization (ILO), International Monetary Fund (IMF), Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) and the World Bank.

International Monetary Fund
The two newly autonomous countries within the Kingdom of the Netherlands face substantial challenges. Growth has been low, and unemployment high. The current account deficit has widened to worrisome levels, increasing the vulnerability of the peg to the U.S. dollar and stimulating calls for dollarizing or dissolving the currency union. A substantial adjustment is needed to bring the underlying current account deficit to historically sustainable levels over the medium term. This could be facilitated by measures to restrain credit growth, supported by fiscal consolidation.
International Monetary Fund
Belgium’s impressive past fiscal consolidation is an example for other countries that need to bring down their public debt and also provides insights on how best to address its own current fiscal challenges. Belgium has a unique history of a long and successful large fiscal consolidation. Belgium lived through various episodes of fiscal adjustment and each one of these contains important lessons for future consolidation. After Belgium’s public debt-to-GDP reached a peak of about 135 percent in 1993, it was steadily reduced to about 84 percent by 2007.
Mr. Abdul d Abiad, Petia Topalova, and Ms. Prachi Mishra
We analyze trade dynamics following past episodes of financial crises. Using an augmented gravity model and 179 crisis episodes from 1970-2009, we find that there is a sharp decline in a country’s imports in the year following a crisis-19 percent, on average-and this decline is persistent, with imports recovering to their gravity-predicted levels only after 10 years. In contrast, exports of the crisis country are not adversely affected, and they remain close to the predicted level in both the short and medium-term.