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Entrepreneurship is an important driver of economic growth, job creation and competitiveness. However, the small and medium-sized enterprises (SME) sector has been severely affected by the crisis, with access to bank finance being particularly difficult.
Dutch banks were put under heavy strains early in the global downturn and have comparatively weak financial buffers to cope with new shocks. Falling house prices have increased the share of households with negative home equity to nearly 35% for home-owning households and 40% for mortgage holders.
The Netherlands is gradually emerging from a double-dip recession with strengthened public finances and reforms on track to improve the labour and housing markets and the health care and pension systems. These reforms are paying off, says the OECD. Growth is expected to reach 1% this year and 1.3% in 2015.
Country Notes from OECD Economic Policy Reforms: Going for growth 2011 presenting OECD recommendations for structural reform priorities for individual countries.
The housing market figures among the main determinants of labour mobility, as households seldom make employment and housing decisions independently of each other.
The Dutch occupational pension system has been successful in securing high asset accumulation to fund generous pension promises.
Congestion has become a burden for the Dutch economy. Reforms to the transport system, including public transport, together with a more flexible housing market should reduce the economic and environmental burden of transport, thereby improving prospects for sustainable long term growth.
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In an improving economy, the new Government is faced with the main macroeconomic challenge of moving from an expansive fiscal stance to focusing on securing sustainable public finances, while implementing measures that secure occupational pensions and enhance the job content of the recovery
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This note is taken from Chapter 3 of Economic Policy Reforms: Going for Growth 2010.