AMSTERDAM (AP) — The president of the Netherlands' central bank predicts that the country's long recession has ended.

In his twice-yearly update on the stability of the Dutch banking system, Klaas Knot said that it was "almost impossible" that the year-long recession hasn't ended in the third quarter. He pointed to growth in neighboring countries and to increasing confidence in the industrial sector.

The remarks by Knot are in line with predictions by the government's main independent economic policy analysis agency, CPB, which also sees the Dutch economy growing fractionally this quarter.

However, Knot and the CPB take opposing positions on the Cabinet's plans for austerity. While Knot says further spending cuts are needed to ensure the structural budget deficit doesn't increase further, CPB analysts fear further spending cuts may hurt the recovery.