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The Federal Planning Bureau (FPB) is an independent public agency. It draws up studies and projections on economic, social and environmental policy issues and on the integration of these policies within a context of sustainable development.
The Federal Planning Bureau and Statistics Belgium have updated their demographic projections until 2060. Belgium’s population should grow from 11.2 million in 2014 to 11.9 million in 2030 (+7%) and 13.1 million in 2060 (+17%). The number of private households in Belgium should rise from 4.8 million in 2013 to 5.3 million in 2030 (+10%) and 5.9 million in 2060 (+23%).
These results are based on a set of hypotheses regarding the future evolution of birth and death rates, international and domestic migration and, as far as households are concerned, the evolution of the different ways of living together. One chapter of the publication deals with prospective mortality rates, which allows projecting « period » life expectancies (cross-sectional approach) and « generational » life expectancies (cohort approach).
This new outlook for the world economy is based on the Belgian Federal Planning Bureau’s NIME model and covers the period 2013-2024. The projection indicates that there should be a limited growth rebound over the period 2013-2016. Over this period, economic growth should allow a closing of the euro area’s output gap, even though world economic growth should continue to be driven mainly by countries other than those of the EU, the United States and Japan. In the longer run, world growth should decline due to a general slowdown in productivity growth, but also due to unfavourable demographic trends.
It should be noted that these 2013-2024 projections for the world economy do not serve as input for the Federal Planning Bureau’s short-term forecasts and medium-term projections for Belgium. Indeed, these latter rely on various ad hoc methodologies and integrate international forecasts from institutions such as the EU Commission, the OECD and the IMF.
The Federal Planning Bureau’s new outlook for the world economy presents projection results for the main economic areas of the world over the period 2012-2020. The projection assumes a stable institutional framework in the European Union and the absence of any balance sheet consolidation that would be severe enough to have lasting effects on GDP growth rates. In such a framework, the projection for the euro area indicates that moderate growth in final domestic demand and positive real net exports should generate moderate real GDP growth over the period 2012-2020. Output growth should be strong enough to outpace the rise in potential output, thus closing the area’s output gap by 2017. The closing of the output gap would be accompanied by a decline in the area’s unemployment rate, which should fall back to its pre-crisis level. At the same time, consumer price inflation should pick up, reaching by 2020 a level compatible with the European Central Bank’s inflation target. The budgetary consolidation measures that are assumed in the projection should lead to primary surpluses that would allow for a decline in the area’s gross public sector debt-to-GDP ratio.
At the time of writing, and although certain segments of financial markets do not yet seem to have returned to their normal, pre‐global financial crisis, functioning, it appears that the wide‐spread and massive policy initiatives of the past year have managed to avert any systemic financial meltdown and limit the depth of the world‐wide recession. Indeed, monetary policy, financial policy, the fiscal stimulus plans that began to be implemented in 2009 and the simultaneous boost from countries’ automatic fiscal stabilisers, all managed to limit the scale of the downturn in real GDP and employment levels. The downturn is also thought to have been limited in OECD countries due to the unexpected resilience of GDP growth in emerging market economies such as China, Brazil and India, who helped to prop up OECD activity by helping to contain the decline in world trade.
In early 2010, policy has remained supportive on all fronts, fiscal, monetary and financial. However, with respect to fiscal policy in particular, after the massive public interventions of 2009, the time has come to look at the effects that these initiatives have had, both in terms of their support to the economy, but also in terms of their effects on countries’ budget deficits and debts and the exit strategies. A difficult balance must be struck between the necessary continued public support for the economy as long as output gaps and unemployment rates remain high, and the medium‐run adjustments to public deficit and debt trajectories.
The current scenario is one where governments withdraw public support from the economy gradually without compromising the recovery. Over the medium term, public deficits do not explode. Real GDP growth picks up as the private sector begins to drive the recovery. In the euro area, we see the emergence of structural current account surpluses. In the United States, there is low inflation and a rebalancing of the current account deficit. In Japan, unfavourable demographic trends lead to low GDP growth; furthermore, the country is projected to continue down a path of deflation throughout the projection period.
Since August 2007, the world economy has fallen into recession and has been confronted with a severe financial crisis. In the context of what is now a world-wide recession, what hope can we place in announced fiscal stimulus plans? Will the fiscal stimulus plans decided and implemented in both the euro area and the United States since end 2008 be adequate responses, most notably in the face of the current systemic financial crisis? This document provides an evaluation of the effectiveness of fiscal policy and of current stimulus plans. It indicates that, while the fiscal stimulus measures will undoubtedly prove to be useful in limiting the scale and duration of the downturn, they won’t be sufficient by themselves to prevent a lengthy recession followed by a tepid recovery. In order to maximise the effectiveness of the stimulus plans, these should be accompanied by accommodative monetary policy. Furthermore, in view of accelerating and underpinning a recovery in world-wide economic activity, fiscal and monetary policies will also have to be supplemented by measures aimed at re-establishing properly functioning banking and financial sectors.
The Belgian Federal Planning Bureau presents a new world macroeconometric projection for 2008-2015 in "The NIME Outlook for the World Economy" of August 2008. The document also contains an analytical Focus featuring the US housing market crisis.
The scenario that is presented in this new world outlook was built on the basis of information available through mid-August 2008. The international economic environment underlying the Federal Planning Bureau's new Economic Forecasts for Belgium of 12 September 2008 is based on more recent international assumptions, of which those relative to euro area GDP growth in 2008.
In 2008, we expect euro area real GDP to progress by a modest 1.5% and by only 1% in 2009. GDP growth should reach an annual average rate of 1.6% over the 2008-2015 period and be gradually curtailed by a declining working-age population and by private sector capacity constraints which should lead monetary authorities to raise interest rates. GDP growth in the United States is expected to reach 1.8% in 2008 and to average only 2% per annum over 2008-2015, slowing markedly in 2011 as a number of significant tax cut provisions expire. In Japan, GDP growth is expected to reach 1% in 2008 and fall to only 0.4% in 2009. GDP is projected to rise at a low yearly average rate of 0.9% over 2008-2015. Japan's economic growth is projected to rapidly lose momentum as the ageing of the country's population leads to a decline in the labour supply.
This August 2007 issue of the NIME Outlook for the World Economy presents a 2007-2013 macroeconomic projection for the major areas of the world. The outlook was produced using NIME, the Belgian Federal Planning Bureau’s macroeconometric world model. This issue includes a number of essential stochastic results relative to our new outlook, as well as an assessment of other less easily quantifiable risks that are currently seen to weigh on the outlook. The major technical assumptions behind the outlook and a brief description of the NIME model are presented in the appendix.
The January 2007 issue of the NIME Outlook for the World Economy presents a 2007-2013 macroeconomic projection for the major areas of the world. The outlook was produced using NIME, the Belgian Federal Planning Bureau’s macroeconometric world model. This issue also includes a number of essential stochastic results concerning the new world economic outlook. The major technical assumptions behind the outlook as well as a brief description of the NIME model are presented in the appendix.
The August 2006 issue of the NIME Outlook for the World Economy presents a 2006-2012 macroeconomic projection for the major areas of the world. The outlook was produced using NIME, the Belgian Federal Planning Bureau’s macroeconometric world model. This issue features a stochastic evaluation of its world economic outlook. The major technical assumptions behind the outlook as well as a brief description of the NIME model are presented in the appendix.
In this Working Paper, we describe how we used stochastic simulation to evaluate the risks surrounding the January 2006 nime Economic Outlook (neo) for the world economy. We summarise the main results by showing confidence intervals around the baseline projection as well as probabilities that certain events will occur. The results presented in this Working Paper are of an illustrative nature and do not constitute an update of the January 2006 nime Economic Outlook.
Over the 1995-2004 period, the evolution of stock market indices in the United States and Europe exhibited a distinct boom-and-bust pattern, rising dramatically during the second half of the 1990s and falling sharply at the turn of the century. These changes in asset prices affected household wealth and the financing cost of investments, so that the period of rising asset prices was also characterised by strong economic growth, while the period of falling asset prices saw weaker growth. As equity markets were largely driven by "irrational exuberance" in the second half of the 1990s, it is sometimes argued that, in order to foster a more balanced growth path, the monetary authorities in the United States and the euro area should have targeted changes in a price index which not only includes contemporaneous consumer prices but also asset prices.
In this Working Paper we assess the worldwide macroeconomic implications of an interest rate rule whereby the major central banks of the world target not only changes in the traditional consumer price index but also changes in asset prices. We do this by simulating the nime model over the 1995-2004 period with an interest rate rule similar to the well-known Taylor rule, but augmented for changes in asset prices.
In this Working Paper, we use the nime model to assess the macroeconomic effects of an oil price shock on the world economy. We start with an overview of the nime model, and a presentation of our modelling of oil price shocks. Next, we examine the effect of a permanent 25 per cent increase in the price of oil, under the assumption that the shock is caused by an increase in the mark-up of the oil price.
This Working Paper presents the 2005-2011 macroeconomic outlook for the major areas of the world. The outlook was produced using NIME, the Belgian Federal Planning Bureau’s (FPB) macroeconometric world model and builds on the Autumn 2004 short-term Economic Forecasts made by the European Commission for the year 2004. The Working Paper also features an assessment of the progress made towards the Lisbon goals for growth and employment in the euro area. The major technical assumptions of this outlook as well as a description of the NIME model are presented in an appendix to the Working Paper.
This Working Paper presents a medium-term macroeconomic outlook for the major economic areas of the world. The outlook was prepared using nime, the Belgian Federal Planning Bureau’s (fpb) macroeconometric world model. The Working Paper also features an assessment of the euro area’s progress towards the European Union’s Lisbon goals for growth and employment, a brief description of the nime model and an appendix outlining the major technical assumptions of this outlook.
This Working Paper presents a medium-term macro-economic outlook for the major economic areas of the world. The outlook is produced using nime, the Belgian Federal Planning Bureau’s macro-econometric world model. The Working Paper also features an assessment of the effects of a permanent 25 percent increase in the price of oil, a description of the nime model, and an appendix outlining the major technical assumptions of the outlook.
Each year, the Federal Planning Bureau (fpb) prepares a medium-term outlook for the Belgian economy with its macro-econometric hermes model. One of the key inputs of this exercise is a baseline scenario for the Belgian international economic environment, which includes an outlook for the output, imports, prices and financial variables of the major trading partners of Belgium. Traditionally, this international environment is based on the medium-term outlook presented by the European Commission in its Autumn Forecasts or the most recent available medium-term outlook of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (oecd).