Economic projections for Belgium

The National Bank of Belgium publishes economic projections for Belgium twice a year. The main results are reproduced here. The results are discussed in more detail in the December 2018 issue of the Economic Review.

The projections are produced as part of a joint Eurosystem exercise and are based on technical assumptions and international forecasts formulated jointly by the ECB and the euro area central banks. They only take account of measures that have been – or are very likely to be - formally approved and for which the implementing arrangements have been set out in sufficient detail at the cut-off date of the projections. The projection period runs to year t+3 (in this case up to 2021); the margin of error surrounding the projections increases for the later years, partly owing to the greater uncertainty about the assumptions, especially those concerning the international environment.

The latest projections for Belgium, published on 17 December 2018, were finalised on 28 November 2018. The corresponding results for the euro area are published on a dedicated webpage on the ECB’s website.

This year, the growth of economic activity is estimated at 1.5 %; it is expected to gradually soften by 2021, to 1.2 %. Including the year 2018, over 150 000 extra jobs are likely to be created (in cumulative terms) over the projection period. The unemployment rate should still remain more or less steady at 6.3%. Inflation is estimated at 2.4% in 2018, largely related to energy prices, and is subsequently expected to drop to an average of 1.8% in 2021. The government deficit is estimated at 0.8 % of GDP in 2018, but is likely to rise to 2.0 % of GDP towards the end of the projection period.

Projections for Belgium: Overview of the main results

 

2017

2018e

2019e

2020e

2021e

Real GDP
(percentage changes)

1.7

1.5

1.4

1.3

1.2

Domestic employment  
(average annual change, in persons)

64 500

57 900

40 200

30 400

24 300

Unemployment rate
(in % of the labour force)¹

7.1

6.3

6.3

6.3

6.3

Inflation

(HICP – percentage changes)

2.2

2.4

2.0

1.6

1.8

Overall balance of general government
(in % of GDP)

-0.9

-0.8

-1.6

-1.7

 -2.0

Public debt
(in % of GDP)

103.4

102.3

101.4

100.9

 100.5

Source: NBB
1 15-64-year-olds, gross data.

Date finalised: 28 November 2018. Next publication: June 2019.