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 June 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 2020); 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 15 June 2018, were finalised on 31 May 2018. The corresponding results for the euro area are published in the ECB’s Economic Bulletin.

This year, the growth of economic activity is estimated at 1.5 %; it is expected to slow a little by 2020, to 1.4%. Including the year 2018, around 97 000 extra jobs are likely to be created (in cumulative terms) over the projection period. However, the unemployment rate will remain more or less steady at 6.7%. Inflation is estimated at 2.1% in 2018, largely on account of energy prices, and is subsequently expected to drop to 1.6%. The government deficit is estimated at 1.0 % of GDP in 2018, but is likely to rise to 1.8% of GDP towards the end of the projection period.

Projections for Belgium: Overview of the main results



2018e 2019e 2020e

Real GDP (percentage changes)


1.5 1.5 1.4

Domestic employment
(average annual change, in persons)

65 300

41 400

29 900 25 500

Unemployment rate
(in percentages of the labour force)¹


6.7 6.7 6.8

Inflation (HICP – percentage change)


2.1 1.9


Overall balance of general government
(percentages of GDP)





Public debt
(EDP definition. percentages of GDP)





Current account balance
(percentages of GDP - def. balance of payments)


-0.3 -0.7 -0.7

Source: NBB.

1     15 to 64 year olds, gross data.

Date finalised: 31 May 2018. Next publication: December 2018.