Netherlands loses S&P triple-A credit rating

AMSTERDAM — Standard &Poor’s stripped the Netherlands of its triple-A credit rating Friday, saying that the country’s growth prospects have deteriorated and it is not performing as well as peers.

It downgraded the country to AA+, meaning the only remaining eurozone countries with AAA ratings from S&P are Germany, Finland and Luxembourg. The Netherlands’ finance minister, Jeroen Dijsselbloem, said the downgrade was unsurprising “but disappointing.”

The Dutch economy has been hit by falling home prices and rising unemployment, which is expected to hit 8 percent next year.

“The downgrade reflects our opinion that The Netherlands’ growth prospects are now weaker than we had previously anticipated, and the real GDP per capita trend growth rate is persistently lower than that of peers at similarly high levels of economic development,” S&P said in its announcement.

It said it expected Dutch GDP to fall by 1.2 percent in 2013 and grow by 0.5 percent in 2014.

Dijsselbloem, who is also president of the Eurogroup of finance ministers, has prescribed spending cuts and tax hikes to strengthen Dutch and other European government finances and pave the way for long-term growth. Some economists say such austerity measures are counterproductive during a downturn, but the idea is popular in German-led policy-making circles.

Dijsselbloem said in an interview with RTL television that, despite the downgrade, S&P supports the Cabinet’s approach to cutting debt.

But a spokesman for the agency said that’s not accurate. “We as a rating agency do not give any endorsements to policy,” said Josy Soussan said. “We look at measures and assess the impact we think they will have.”

The Dutch government has undertaken several rounds of budget cuts but is still expected to run deficits of a little more than 3 percent this year and next year.

More in Herald Business Journal

Happy accident leads Edmonds couple to make Hunniwater drink

The latest line of energy drinks by Karin and Eric… Continue reading

Single payer is no panacea for our costly health care system

We must address the cost of health care before designing an insurance system.

Voters are on the sidelines as the port fills a vacant seat

Troy McClelland resigned from the Port of Everett commission too late for an election before 2019.

Career Fair planned next week at Tulalip Resort Casino

The Snohomish County Career Fair is planned from 10 a.m. to 2… Continue reading

American Farmland Trust president to speak in Mount Vernon

American Farmland Trust President John Piotti plans to give a talk about… Continue reading

In new setback, Uber to lose license to work in London

The company, beset by litany of scandals, was told it was not “fit and proper” to keep operating there.

Not home? Walmart wants to walk in and stock your fridge

The retailer is trying out the service with tech-savvy shoppers who have internet-connected locks.

Trade panel: Cheap imports hurt US solar industry

The ruling raises the possibility of tariffs that could double the price of solar panels.

Agent joins Re/Max in Smokey Point

Dennis Roland joined the Re/Max Elite Smokey Point office. The Navy veteran… Continue reading

Most Read