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News

This section presents all the latest information related to the FPB, from the most recent studies, press releases and articles to publication notices, workshops and colloquia.

News (20)

2017

  • Belgian economic growth is expected to amount to 1.7 % in both 2017 and 2018 07/09/2017  - Press releases

    The euro area economy keeps growing steadily, at 2.1 % this year and 1.8 % next year, according to estimates. Compared to the June forecasts, these figures have been revised upwards. The forecasts for the Belgian economy have also improved, albeit to a lesser extent. Employment is expected to rise by 104 000 people over these two years, while inflation should cool down considerably in 2018.

  • Consumer Price Index & Inflation forecasts 05/09/2017

    Monthly evolution of the consumer price index and of the so-called health index, which is used for the price indexation of wages, social benefits and house-rent.

  • Vehicle stock modelling in long term projections - Survey of the literature 07/08/2017  - Publications

    Transport models used for long-term projections should reflect the impact of shared, automated and electric mobility modes. The objective of the current paper is to derive lessons from the existing literature on vehicle ownership modelling to find options to further improve the PLANET model, which is used for projections of transport demand in Belgium.

  • Tax Expenditure and the Cost of Labour Taxation - An application to company car taxation 04/07/2017  - Publications

    The goal of this paper is to estimate the efficiency cost of one additional euro of revenue through the personal income tax system, considering its simultaneous effects on the labour market and the transport market. More precisely, we seek to derive estimates of the Marginal Excess Burden of marginal personal income tax rates in Belgium considering the subsidization of company cars. We find that taking into account of welfare losses in the transport market adds 5-7 cents to the welfare cost of an additional euro of tax revenue, compared to models that consider only the effects on the labour market.  The cost of raising the top marginal tax rate rises by 28% to 58% depending on the model assumptions. As an aside, we estimate tax expenditure on the transport sector via the personal income tax system to be 1.9 billion euro. We conclude that there is scope for welfare improving by base broadening and rate cutting. The framework is applied to analyse the merits of cash-for-car proposals.

  • Belgian economic growth should amount to 1.6 % both in 2017 and 2018 08/06/2017  - Press releases

    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.

  • What matters to Belgians ? Analysis of the determinants of individual well-being in Belgium 02/06/2017  - Publications

    This Working Paper analyses the determinants of individual well-being in Belgium, using data from the EU-SILC survey. The analysis shows that on average health, both mental and physical, is the key determinant of well-being for Belgians. Enjoying sufficient income to access what is regarded as the prevailing standard of living in Belgium, having a job and being surrounded by loved ones also have a significant and positive impact on well-being. Besides these results for “average” Belgians, the analysis of different sub-groups highlights that these determinants are not of equal importance to all Belgians. These results contribute to the FPB’s work on the search for indicators complementary to GDP.

  • The well-being of Belgians: income is just part of the picture 02/06/2017  - Press releases

    Health is the main determinant of the well-being of Belgians. Income matters but to a lesser extent. Having a job and being surrounded by loved ones also have an impact on well-being. These results apply to an “average” Belgian. The analysis of different sub-groups shows that these determinants are not of equal importance to all Belgians.

  • Qualitative employment data for Belgium : 1999-2015 01/06/2017

    In this database, domestic employment, labour volume (hours worked) and the wage costs of wage earners are broken down per industry (A38 of Nace rev. 2) according to gender, age group and education level. The breakdowns of employment and labour volumes are available for domestic employment as a whole and for wage earners and self-employed people separately. The database provides annual results for the period 1999-2015 and corresponds with the last edition of the national accounts (October 2016).

  • Regularization of study periods in the wage earners’ scheme – An analysis of typical cases 12/05/2017  - Publications

    This Working Paper examines for which persons it is profitable to regularise study periods and how many study periods would be regularised in the employees' scheme. This analysis of typical cases takes into account different income levels, different payment periods of the regularisation contribution, the number of actual career years and the number of regularised study periods.

  • Cost-benefit analysis of a selection of policy scenarios on an adequate future Belgian power system - Economic insights on different capacity portfolio and import scenarios 23/02/2017  - Publications

    In this report, different capacity portfolio and import scenarios for Belgium are investigated. They are based on the reports published by the Belgian transmission system operator Elia in 2016. Four scenarios are scrutinized differing in their overall context (level of carbon price) and/or in the choice of the content of their structural block. A fifth scenario is added which constitutes a sensitivity analysis: in this scenario, a considerable amount of new natural gas-fired power plants on top of the structural block is built on the Belgian territory in order to study the impact of a fairly lower level of (net) imports and even explore the net export option. The five scenarios are compared in order to assess potential longterm strategic choices from a societal perspective.

  • Public Investment in Belgium 27/01/2017  - Press releases

    Belgian government investment, and specifically the part spent on infrastructure, is relatively low both in historical terms and compared to neighbouring countries. A simulation with the European Commission’s Quest III model suggests that increasing government investment permanently by 0.5% of GDP leads to a growth in GDP, private consumption and private investment. The impact of alternative financing mechanisms is compared.

2016

  • The population at risk of poverty or social exclusion in Belgium - Projection until 2030 28/11/2016  - Publications

    This Working Paper presents, on the basis of information available until July 2016, a projection at unchanged policy until 2030 of the population at risk of poverty or social exclusion in Belgium, as defined in the framework of the Europe 2020 Strategy. This population should amount to 2.232 million people in 2018, or 418 000 more than the Europe 2020 target. By 2030, its share should shrink to 16.1%, still 5.6 percentage points higher than the goal resulting from the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

  • Social and environmental goals in a transition towards a low-carbon society – Working document in the framework of the SUSPENS research project 16/11/2016  - Publications

    This paper constitutes the contribution of the Federal Planning Bureau to the round table discussion with the Interdepartemental Commission for Sustainable Development of 11/2/2016 as part of task 1.3 of the SUSPENS research project. This paper gives a brief description of the climate and social policy in Belgium. The focus is on the policy goals to which Belgium has committed itself and on how far these have been achieved. The analysis shows that Belgium will have to make considerable efforts to achieve these goals and that cross-border cooperation will be necessary to realise the transition towards a low-carbon society.

  • Drivers of wholesale electricity prices in a small, open economy - Some evidence from the nuclear restart in Belgium 09/11/2016  - Publications

    In this paper, the impact of a nuclear downtime and subsequent restart on wholesale electricity prices on the Belgian power exchange is investigated by means of a dual methodology. First, publicly available market data is used to construct a stable statistical model that is deployed to examine the effect of nuclear power generation variations on market price outcomes. Next to this empirical evidence, the optimisation tool Crystal Super Grid is used to assess the impact of the resumed availability of the nuclear reactors on several indicators characterising the Belgian and European power landscape.

  • Commuting subsidies in Belgium - Implementation in the PLANET model 28/10/2016  - Publications

    This paper seeks to quantify the size and traffic effects of commuting subsidies in Belgium. To this end we implement the most recently available data on both the personal income tax treatment of commuting reimbursement and subsidies to rail commuters in the PLANET model. We find that subsidy rates by tend to differ strongly by mode and by type of reimbursement. Commuting by own car is generally subsidized at low levels, if it enjoys any subsidy at all. Commuting by company car, bike and public transport enjoy relatively high levels of subsidization. Policy simulations show the importance of commuting subsidies in steering the modal split. Both the exemptions for commuting reimbursements as well as subsidies for rail commuters moderately steer traffic away from private transport, while also lengthening the average commute.

  • Projection of internal migration based on migration intensity and preferential flows 20/10/2016  - Publications

    This Working Paper presents the projection methodology for internal migration, which is integrated from 2016 in the population projections published by the Federal Planning Bureau and Statistics Belgium. The methodology is based on migration intensity between districts, rather than on emigration rates from one district to another. With migration intensity, not only is the population of the departure district taken into account (population at risk of moving) but also the population of the destination district (as a proxy for attractiveness). The short-term evolution of migration intensity is in line with the most recent trends observed in a series of preferential migration flows between districts. In the long term, migration intensity is assumed to be constant.

  • Transport demand and capacity of the Belgian rail network 03/10/2016  - Publications

    The PLANET model, developed by the Federal Planning Bureau within the framework of a cooperation agreement with the Federal Public Service Mobility and Transport, makes it possible to calculate the long-term evolution of transport demand in Belgium. Transport demand includes both passenger and freight transport and is broken down by mode of transport. For rail transport, demand is projected assuming constant average speed on the network over the whole projection period. The PLANET model does not take into account railway infrastructure capacity; in other words, it assumes that the network will be able to cope with any increase in demand without affecting the quality of service. Since the utilisation rate of some lines is already very high, there was a need to extend the scope of analysis of PLANET to estimate the impact of the future railway demand on the network utilisation rate. That analysis, performed at a detailed spatial level (the rail sections), is useful and pertinent, particularly for rail operators and public authorities within the context of the railway investment plans.

  • Air Emissions Accounts 2010-2014 30/09/2016  - Publications

    European Regulation 691/2011 obliges the member states of the European Union to deliver three environmental economic accounts as of 2013. The accounts concerned are the Environmental Taxes by Economic Activity (ETEA), the Air Emissions Accounts (AEA) and the Economy-Wide Material Flow Accounts (EW-MFA). In this publication the National Accounts Institute presents the AEA for the years 2010-2014.

  • Environmental taxes by economic activity 2010-2014 30/09/2016  - Publications

    European Regulation 691/2011 obliges the member states of the European Union to deliver three environmental economic accounts as of 2013. The accounts concerned are the Environmental Taxes by Economic Activity (ETEA), the Air Emissions Accounts (AEA) and the Economy-Wide Material Flow Accounts (EW-MFA). In this publication the National Accounts Institute presents the ETEA for the years 2010-2014.

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