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In the recent past, medium-term projections were given less attention than short-term analyses. However, things appear to have evolved and mid-term prospects seem to be enjoying a renewed interest. Since the outbreak of the financial crisis, many countries have been confronted with large imbalances in terms of high unemployment, unused production capacities or financial deficits. In the longer term, demographic changes, including population ageing, are likely to cause massive changes in the composition of GDP. Addressing these various challenges can only be considered in the context of medium- and long-term scenarios.
The Federal Planning Bureau presents its latest medium-term outlook (2012-2017) on 14 May 2012. The Economic Outlook 2012-2017 for Belgium is set against the background of budgetary consolidation and weak economic growth in Europe.
At the request of the Federal Public Service Environment, the Federal Planning Bureau has updated the energy and economic impact assessment for Belgium of the Climate-Energy Package as described in Working Paper 21-08. Working Paper 9-11 is based on the new economic and policy context and benefits from recent analyses conducted by the European Commission at EU level: an analysis of the stepping up from the 20% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions’ target to a 30% decrease in 2020, next to the Roadmap for moving to a competitive low-carbon economy in 2050.
A consensus quickly emerged among national and international organizations, based on past experiences, that the financial crisis that erupted in 2008 would have a long-lasting impact on the level of output. An initial quantification of the potential output loss imputable to the crisis for Belgium was presented in WP 10-09. This Working Paper provides an update of this analysis and examines through the successive revisions of projections made by the Federal Planning Bureau how the perception of the crisis has evolved over the last two years and what its implications are for the medium run. The shortfall in potential output is now estimated to be less than 3 %, close to the area-wide loss estimated for the OECD-countries.
The Federal Planning Bureau took part, in collaboration with the German institute diw Berlin, in a technical assistance project aimed at developing different modelling approaches for the economy of Lesotho, a small country landlocked within the territory of South Africa. This paper summarises the major characteristics of the macro-econometric model that was elaborated in the context of this project. The modelling strategy relies on its complementarities and interactions with the so-called ‘Financial Programming’, implemented by other partners of the project team. In addition, the paper presents a baseline up to the fiscal year 2012/2013 as well as an alternative scenario in which public expenditures are reduced in response to the expected decrease in customs receipts.
The concepts of potential growth and output gap are important tools to evaluate the state of the business cycle and to assess the supply-side capacity of an economy. They have also become an essential ingredient of the European fiscal surveillance process. However, the global economy is facing its most widespread crisis in the post-war era and consequently the uncertainty regarding the impact of the crisis on supply-side conditions is enormous. In this Working Paper we compare revisions on potential growth for Belgium made recently by the Federal Planning Bureau and international organizations. Those comparisons aim at highlighting the uncertainty associated with those revisions as well as understanding better some of the channels through which the crisis may reduce potential output.
Several legal missions from the Federal Planning Bureau require the construction of long-term macroeconomic scenarios for the Belgian economy. In order to increase the consistency of these scenarios and to build them within a rigorous theoretical framework, it appeared important to develop a new long-term model that considers economic growth as depending upon the supply of production factors.
The theoretical structure of the model draws on similar work done by the Dutch CPB. In the working paper we detail the construction, the properties and the estimation of the parameters based upon quarterly data from the Belgian national accounts. The model should contribute for instance to the production of long-term macro-economic scenarios to evaluate the budgetary cost of ageing.
In order to prepare for the negotiations on the EU Energy and Climate Package, the Federal Planning Bureau was asked by the Belgian federal and regional authorities to conduct a study on the impact of the January 2008 European Commission’s proposal. In the course of this study, various scenarios were run. Next to a baseline, two main alternative scenarios were scrutinised: the 20/20 and 30/20 target scenarios, standing for an EU reduction of respectively 20% and 30% of GHG emissions in the year 2020 compared to the level of 1990 and a 20% mandatory EU share of RES in Gross Final Energy Demand in 2020. The report then includes an analysis of the impact of both scenarios on the Belgian energy system and economy as well as on GHG emissions.
This working paper gives an overview of the Modtrim team’s recent research in the field of Belgian exports and export markets. In the first chapter a new leading indicator is introduced as a supplementary tool to determine a growth profile for Belgium’s potential export markets in the first quarters of the forecasting period. In the second chapter, an attempt is made to improve forecasts of Belgium’s exports by breaking down the model equation into a goods and a services component. Finally, the third chapter reveals that (a lack of) competitiveness is probably not the only reason for the losses of export market share in Belgium and in some of its main trading partners in the past 25 years.