Public finances

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The growth of the Belgian economy should slightly pick up this year to 1.8% [08/02/2018]

Economic growth in the euro area was surprisingly high (2.5%) last year and is expected to remain solid (2.2%) in 2018. Against this backdrop, the growth forecasts for the Belgian economy in 2018 have been revised slightly upwards to 1.8%, compared to our September release. This favourable development leads to a rise in employment by 57000 people. This year, inflation is expected to cool down somewhat to 1.7% as a result of both the appreciation of the euro and the significant decrease in electricity prices in Flanders.

The forecasts for the Belgian economy are characterised by modest growth, steady job creation and persistent public deficits [20/06/2017]

The Federal Planning Bureau’s Economic Outlook makes it possible to outline a future ‘at unchanged policy’ of the Belgian economy for the next five years. The 2017-2022 Outlook takes into account a modest economic recovery in the euro area and is characterised by economic policy measures at the Belgian level that lead to more labour-intensive growth.

Belgian economic growth should amount to 1.6 % both in 2017 and 2018 [08/06/2017]

European economic activity has so far proved to be more robust than expected in the wake of the Brexit referendum. The growth forecasts for the Belgian economy in 2017 have hence been revised upwards to 1.6 %. The same growth rate is expected in 2018. In both years, private consumption and business investment in particular should support economic growth. Net employment should rise by 105 000 people over these two years, while inflation should cool down in 2018. In accordance with the Law of 21 December 1994, the National Accounts Institute (NAI) has transmitted the figures of the economic budget to the Minister for Economy. These macroeconomic forecasts will serve as a basis for the 2018 budget review.

Contact

  • http://pubfin.plan.be

The Federal Planning Bureau (FPB) carries out various activities on the theme of public finances. The FPB produces medium- and long-term projections of the government’s accounts. It also studies and models the interactions between macroeconomic evolutions and public finances. Within the National Accounts Institute (NAI), the FPB assists in drawing up the government's account in the national accounting.

The FPB carries out various activities on the theme of public finances :

  • Within the National Accounts Institute (NAI), the FPB assists in drawing up the government's account in the national accounting. The integration of these accounts into the National Accounts allows the government's account to be compared with the accounts of the other macroeconomic actors (households, businesses, Rest of the World).
  • The FPB studies and models the interactions between macroeconomic evolutions and public finances. These models allow the impact of government decisions on the economy and the repercussions of the economic situation on the condition of public finances to be analysed. Public finance modelling is based on a detailed analysis of the budgets of the federal administration, social security and the Regions. It is also based on the study of the structure and evolution of public employment, compulsory taxes, institutional regulations for financial transfers between levels of government and determinants of public debt and interest charges.
  • The FPB draws up the "economic budget" (see the theme ‘Short-term forecasting and business cycle’). This provides the macro-economic short-term framework for drawing up and reviewing the budget by the competent authorities. It includes public finance elements which directly affect the economic parameters (public consumption, investments, indirect taxes, subsidies, etc.).
  • The FPB carries out detailed medium-term (5-year) forecasts of the evolution of public finances, on both the national and the regional level of government (see the theme ‘Forecasting and macroeconomic analysis in the medium term’).
  • The FPB carries out detailed medium-term (5-year) forecasts of the evolution of public finances for each Region within the framework of the HERMREG project. It does so in collaboration with the three regional institutions: SVR, BISA and IWEPS (see the theme ‘Forecasting and macroeconomic analysis in the medium term’).
  • The FPB explores very long-term possible evolutions of public finances. It also studies the issue of fiscal sustainability, both in the context of the European budgetary surveillance mechanisms and in connection with issues related to fiscal federalism (see the theme ‘Social protection, demography and forecasts’).

Methods and instruments

Apart from various databases, the following instruments are used:

  • The different "public finances" and "social security" modules of the macroeconomic models MODTRIM, HERMES and HERMREG;
  • The MALTESE modelling system - including the specific models it comprises - which allows the long-term evolutions of social expenditure to be simulated.

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