The FPB’s studies cover 11 main themes: Energy, Environmental economic accounts and analyses, International economy, Labour market, Macroeconomic forecasts and analyses, Public finances, Sectoral accounts and analyses, Social protection, demography and prospective studies, Structural studies, Sustainable development, Transport.
Once a year, in June, the FPB publishes a macrosectoral outlook over a period of six years. Since 2014, the FPB has also produced a brief provisional version of this outlook in March as a contribution to the preparation of the Stability Programme and the National Reform Programme that have to be submitted to the European Commission in April.
The first two years of the June outlook correspond to the short-term forecasts of the beginning of June (see Short-term forecasts and business cycle). The subsequent years ought to be considered as a projection that outlines a possible future for the Belgian economy and highlights the economic imbalances that are likely to occur in the medium run. This includes a detailed analysis of the labour market and public finances.
The medium-term forecasts are produced ‘at unchanged policy’, meaning that they only take into account measures that have been formally decided and that have sufficiently detailed implementation modalities.
These outlooks are produced using the macrosectoral HERMES model. The current version of the model comprises more than 8 000 equations and about 10 000 variables. The relatively large size of the model is due to the degree to which the economy is broken down (among other things due to the classification by industry) and to the detailed modelling of the labour market and public finances. For a recent description of HERMES, see Working Paper 13-13.
Besides macrosectoral outlooks, HERMES is also used for scenario analyses to determine the economic impact of certain shocks (e.g. on oil prices or on export markets' growth) or policy measures (on an economic and social level). For recent examples of scenario analyses, see Working Paper 10-18.
A full description of the results of the medium-term economic outlook is given in an annual publication, published in June. Since 2014, the FPB has also produced a brief provisional version of this outlook in a report published in March. Scenario analyses are published on an occasional basis.
The statistical appendix of the macroeconomic and sectoral results of the June outlook is available under the heading Data.