The Rabobank has made a series of economic predictions, with nowhere in the Netherlands getting away lightly
Translated by Thomas Ansell
As reported by the Leeuwarder Courant, the economy in South-West Friesland is likely to be hit hard by the economic contraction that will follow the Coronavirus outbreak. The bank predicts that the entire Dutch economy will shrink by about 5.2 percent, though naturally certain regions will be affected more than others.
The Rabobank suggests that outlying areas within Groningen, Lumburg, and Zeeland will see greater economic contraction, whilst regions like Utrecht and Den Bosch are likely to see their economies shrink by about 4.4 percent. Friesland overall is likely to see a 5.3 percent economic crimp- close to the national average.
Unfortunately however, the South-Western corner of Friesland will suffer a 5.5 percent contraction due to its relatively large industrial sector (which is 21 percent of its economy), which includes its transport sector- one of those affected hugely by the outbreak and economic contraction that has followed.
General Director of the transport company Veenstra Fritom, in Heeg, says that the news isn’t surprising: “the transport sector has been hit hard by the crisis, but there are some other sectors that are worse off. Within the transport sector there’s quite a bit of difference for individual companies- those that work with horeca outlets have been really hard hit, and that’s a large part of our regional economy.”
Veenstra Fritom has managed to weather the storm quite well until now, holding on to all of its employees: including 140 permanent workers, and about 40 freelance drivers.
The Rabobank says that the Dutch government should be concerned that the economic hardship will hit more remote areas worse. “This means that the regional economic imbalance will get worse, even as peripheral regions have become a smaller part of the national economy in the last few decades. The Coronavirus crisis has exacerbated this divide.”
Deputy Sander de Rouwe (CDA), of Friesland, says that the Province is taking an active role in managing the economic crisis: “our Coronavirus stimuli are Friesland-wide, and if there are some regions suffering more than others I don’t rule out more efforts to help [them]. It will all be done in concert with businesses and the gemeentes.”
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