Dutch economy likely to slow as trade rows worsen, central bank says

AMSTERDAM, June 11 (Reuters) - Economic growth in the Netherlands is likely to slow in the next two years as escalating trade tension between the U.S. and China curtails exports, the Dutch central bank said on Tuesday.

The central bank cut its outlook for growth of the Dutch economy to 1.6% for 2019 and 1.5% for 2020 from a previous forecast of 1.7%, citing intensifying trade tension as the main reason for the downgrade.

Growth will probably drop to 1.4% in 2021 but could fall further if recent tariff threats between the United States, China and Europe escalate, the central bank said.

“We still expect all parties involved to take a step back once they reach the edge of the abyss, and not a step forward”, DNB director Tjerk Kroes said. “But this is one of the major uncertainties for the Dutch economy.”

Growth in the euro zone’s fifth-largest economy is helped by record-low unemployment, which is expected to boost incomes and consumer spending in the next two years. (Reporting by Bart Meijer, editing by Larry King)