Researchers Erasmus School of Economics contribute to Economic outlook Rotterdam 2021

Researchers of Erasmus School of Economics contribute to the annual Economic Outlook Rotterdam (Economische Verkenning Rotterdam, abbreviated as EVR). In this year’s edition of the EVR, essays are written by, among others, Frank van Oort, Professor of Urban & Regional Economics at Erasmus School of Economics, and Jeroen van Haaren, Senior Researcher at the Erasmus Centre for Urban, Port and Transport Economics.

The EVR provides insight into the most important figures, trends and developments in the Rotterdam economy. This makes the EVR an indispensable source of information for administrators, entrepreneurs, students and policymakers involved in the development of the Rotterdam economy.

Economic contraction in Rotterdam is around 3 percent

The economic contraction seems not too bad but is still considerable. This is evident from the EVR, which was presented on Tuesday 9 March 2021 via a livestream from Woudestein campus. According to the latest figures from Statistics Netherlands, the contraction in Rotterdam is around 3 percent. At first it was feared for 4.8 percent, but that was based on Statistics Netherlands figures from November, when not everything was clear about the support measures and their effects. A slight growth of 1.1 percent is projected for 2021, but that depends strongly on how long the pandemic and the lockdown will last.

If working from home continues, the city will have to adapt

It seems that working from home will continue to exist even after corona, at least in part. There are many offices in the city center, so Rotterdam takes into account that working from home will also have consequences for the city after the crisis. Fewer people who shop in the city center during their break or after work, or who visit the catering industry for example.

How can Rotterdam continue to strengthen its economy?

In the EVR 2021 experts, such as Frank van Oort and Jeroen van Haaren, speculate on future developments. A central issue is the question how Rotterdam can continue to strengthen its economy. Contributions to the outlook usually take place in the form of essays on theme’s related to among others the economic structure, employment dynamics, urban attractiveness and expenditure, and port-city dynamics. The EVR is written in Dutch. 

Moving 'crisis-proof' in the future 

In an essay by co-authors van Haaren and van Oort, the writers emphasise that economic growth was already under pressure before the pandemic and the accelerated energy transition is putting a brake on recovery from the corona crisis in the medium term. They see an economic decline in 2020 of 4.8%. However, in 2021 a rebound of 1.1% is expected, which is lower than the growth that is expected nation-wide. This is because the consumer services sector, one of the bearers of Rotterdam's more balanced growth, has been strongly affected by the pandemic. In another essay, the researchers talk about developments in the Rotterdam tourist sector. Rotterdam tourism will remain under pressure for some time due to the corona crisis. A small recovery is seen, but not as strong as in other big cities.

Jeroen van Haaren, Senior Researcher at the Erasmus Centre for Urban, Port and Transport Economics
More information

More findings from the EVR 2021 can be found here and all charts can be found here (both in Dutch). 

The link to the full presentation of the EVR can be found here (in Dutch; starts from approximately 30 minutes).