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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.

Medium-term projections and macrosectoral analyses



Accuracy assessment of the FPB medium-term outlooks - An update [12/10/2017]

This working paper provides an update of a study from 2007 in which the accuracy of the medium-term outlooks for the Belgian economy is assessed. The study is expanded with nine additional editions of the Economic Outlook covering a mixture of pre-crisis, crisis and post-crisis periods.

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.



Once a year, usually in June, the FPB publishes a medium-term macrosectoral outlook. 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 year of the outlook is generally based on the short-term forecasts of February (updated if need be). The subsequent years ought to be considered as a projection that outlines a possible future under the assumption of unchanged policies for the Belgian economy and highlights the economic imbalances that are likely to occur over a period of five to six years.

The medium-term outlooks also analyse in detail the expected development of public finances, as well as of the labour market and energy demand. They also include the future evolution of greenhouse gas emissions.

Methods and instruments

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 has to do with the degree of disaggregation (15 branches of industry and 15 consumption functions) and with the development of a detailed public finance module. For a description of the model, see Working Paper 05-00, Working Paper 05-04 and Working Paper 13-13.

Next to macrosectoral forecasting, the HERMES model is also used for scenario analysis in order to determine the impact of certain shocks (e.g. on oil prices or on export markets' growth) or policy measures (on an economic and social level) on economic growth, employment, public finances, sectoral indicators, energy demand and greenhouse gas emissions.

Periodical publications

A full description 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. Variant analyses are published on a case-by-case basis.


The detailed statistical appendix of the macroeconomic and sectoral results of the outlook of June is available under the heading Data.

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