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Khalid ElFayoumi, Ms. Izabela Karpowicz, Ms. Jenny Lee, Ms. Marina Marinkov, Ms. Aiko Mineshima, Jorge Salas, Andreas Tudyka, and Ms. Andrea Schaechter
Many European economies have faced pressure from rental housing affordability that has widened social and economic divergence. While significant country and regional differences exist, this departmental paper finds that in many advanced European economies a large and rising share of low-income renters, the young, and those living in cities is overburdened. In several locations, middle-income groups also increasingly face rental affordability issues.
Statistical Office of the European Communities, International Labour Office, International Monetary Fund, Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, United Nations, and World Bank


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

In this study, the stability of the economy of the Netherlands is overviewed. Bank profitability has recovered. The housing and mortgage markets are relatively stable, although vulnerabilities to household balance sheets are rising. The results of stress tests in the context of the Financial Stability Assessment Program (FSAP) update are welcomed, which show resilience of bank capital and liquidity buffers under extreme scenarios. Executive Directors agreed that structural reforms continue to be key to lifting the Netherlands’s long-term growth prospects. Further reforms of the tax and benefit systems are needed.

International Monetary Fund. European Dept.

Context: A strengthening but moderate recovery is taking hold after a double-dip recession that stretched into the first quarter of 2014. Growth has been led by exports and investment, although net exports faltered in mid-2015 as the government cut natural gas output in response to earthquakes in the gas producing areas. Fiscal stance: The Netherlands should use any available fiscal space with respect to the Medium-Term Objective (MTO) to increase spending on the government's priority areas or reduce taxes to bolster the recovery so long as the economy remains below potential.

International Monetary Fund. Research Dept.
The IMF Research Bulletin includes listings of recent IMF Working Papers and Staff Discussion Notes. The research summaries in this issue are “Explaining the Recent Slump in Investment” (Mathieu Bussiere, Laurent Ferrara, and Juliana Milovich) and “The Quest for Stability in the Housing Markets” (Hites Ahir). The Q&A column reviews “Seven Questions on Estimating Monetary Transmission Mechanism in Low-Income Countries” (Bin Grace Li, Christopher Adam, and Andrew Berg). Also included in this issue are updates on the IMF’s official journal, the IMF Economic Review, and recommended readings from IMF Publications.
International Monetary Fund. European Dept.
This 2018 Article IV Consultation highlights that the Netherland’s economic recovery has taken hold. Real growth is forecast to reach 3.1 percent in 2018 owing to robust domestic demand. Private consumption has been supported by rising disposable income and positive wealth effects from increasing housing prices. Net exports have proven resilient to global uncertainties, pushing up the already large current account surplus. Unemployment has continued to decline rapidly, although most of the jobs have been created under temporary contracts or self-employment status. The economy is expected to keep its momentum in the coming years. Domestic consumption and investment are forecast to remain the main drivers of growth, prompting a gradual decline of the current account surplus.
International Monetary Fund. European Dept.
This Article IV Consultation highlights that the Dutch economy has grown faster than the euro area average over the past few years reflecting recovering consumption and investment, and strong net exports. Progress with tackling long-standing imbalances in the households and corporate sectors, and thus external imbalances, has lagged. Households remain highly leveraged and their consumption constrained by a stagnating disposable income. In the corporate sector, dominated by large multinational corporations, investment is low but savings are high, and developments are diverging with domestic small and medium enterprises relatively stagnant. Strong fiscal performance in recent years has boosted buffers that can now be used to reduce distortions and strengthen potential growth. The report recommends that it is important to harmonize tax benefits and social security contributions for different types of employment to reduce labor market duality while increasing overall labor market flexibility. Using fiscal space to address household and corporate imbalances is desirable and is unlikely to jeopardize long-term fiscal sustainability.
International Monetary Fund
Important issues of the Netherlands are discussed. Openness to trade has benefited the Netherlands before the crisis and has supported the recent recovery process. However, both financial openness and trade linkages have also been a transmission channel for the financial crisis. Synchronized fiscal tightening across Europe has important spillover effects for GDP growth. The improvement on the supply side of credit has contributed to a normalization of the credit market. However, the recent increase in the financial stress index indicates that the situation is still fragile.
International Monetary Fund
This paper investigates the determinants of trend growth and total factor productivity (TFP) growth in the Netherlands, and underscores the importance of boosting structural reforms in the Netherlands. It examines the fiscal incentives and tax deductibility. The paper summarizes recent developments in the housing market in the country. It provides systematic empirical evidence on a key measure of volatility in different sources of tax revenues. It examines the role of business cycle fluctuations, the impact of the Dutch pension fund system, corporate location decisions, and other specific factors.