The shortage of labour is biting into The Netherlands’ growth as the Dutch economy is projected to hit 2.6% growth in 2018, which will decelerate to 1.9% in 2019 and 1.7% in 2020. ABN Amro’s projections last week were marginally more ambitious, projecting 2% growth for 2019, down from the 2,5% projection earlier this year.

Both lenders see labour shortages affecting growth in The Netherlands, particularly in the construction sector.

Dutch multinational banking and financial services company Rabobank’s chief economist, Menno Middeldorp, told the public news agency NOS that it was now time for the government to invest in economic sustainability, including a tax on carbon emissions.

The Netherlands’ finance minister Wopke Hoekstra said on December 14 that the government is forecasting growth of 2.6% for 2019, with new projections scheduled for release later this week.