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To promote transparency and provide information, the Federal Planning Bureau regularly publishes the methods and results of its works. The publications are organised in different series, such as Outlooks, Working Papers and Planning Papers. Some reports can be consulted here, along with the Short Term Update newsletters that were published until 2015. You can search our publications by theme, publication type, author and year.

Een economische analyse van de productie en distributie van alcoholische dranken in België [Working Paper 21-10]

This paper shows the evolution of production, domestic demand and imports and exports of alcoholic beverages between 1995 and 2009. These variables are given for beer, malt and distilled and non‐distilled alcoholic beverages as well as some non‐alcoholic beverages. The paper shows the evolution of production, value added, investment, employment and wage costs for the alcoholic beverage producing industry and breaks down employment in breweries by type. For the years 1995 and 2005, the study estimates and compares the GDP contribution and employment generation of the production and distribution of alcoholic beverages in Belgium. These estimates are based on the input‐output tables for both years.

Executive Summary

This paper shows the evolution of production, domestic demand and imports and exports of alcoholic beverages between 1995 and 2009. These variables are given for beer, malt and distilled and non‐distilled alcoholic beverages as well as some non‐alcoholic beverages. The paper shows the evolution of production, value added, investment, employment and wage costs for the alcoholic beverage producing industry and breaks down employment in breweries by type. For the years 1995 and 2005, the study estimates and compares the GDP contribution and employment generation of the production and distribution of alcoholic beverages in Belgium. These estimates are based on the input‐output tables for both years.

Despite a stagnation of domestic demand for beer (a decline in physical terms), the Belgian production of beer and malt increased in the period 1995‐2009 due to exports. The increase in the export of beer and malt has improved the Belgian trade balance for alcoholic beverages. Though at its best in 2009, this trade balance continues to be negative due to large import values for wines. France is our most important export market for beer, but markets such as the US are increasing their share.

National account data show that the alcoholic beverages industry had a share of 6% of the production of all food and beverages industries in 2008. Its share in value added and investments was far greater, with 12 % and 14 %, respectively. Its employment share fell from 7.9% in 1995 to 6.4% in 2009.

Wage costs per head are higher in the alcoholic beverages industry than in the whole of the food and beverages industry but have experienced the same evolution. Using detailed social security data, employment in breweries is broken down by gender, age class, labour regime and into blue and white collar and self‐employed workers. The workers in breweries are more frequently male, are older and work full time more often than the average in the food and beverage industry.

In 2005, the production of alcoholic beverages is estimated to have contributed to 0.52% of GDP. This is a decrease compared to 1995, when its GDP contribution was 0.72%. The 2005 GDP contribution includes a direct effect of 0.39% and an indirect effect (through its chain of suppliers) of 0.13%. These figures include the excise and VAT revenues on the domestic use of alcoholic beverages produced in Belgium.

The direct and indirect employment created by the production of alcoholic beverages is estimated at 10 900 persons, which is 0.27% of total employment. This is a decrease compared to 1995, when the employment impact was 14 500 persons (0.37% of total employment).

The paper further gives the GDP contribution of the distribution of alcoholic beverages produced in Belgium. A distinction was made between the distribution margins realised by the wholesale and retail trade (0.06% of GDP) and the implicit distribution margins realised by hotels and restaurants when serving alcoholic beverages (0.67% of GDP). These percentages represent a decrease compared to 1995, when they were estimated at 0.13% and 0.97%.

The distribution margins and taxes on imported alcoholic beverages are responsible for an additional 0.45% of GDP (this is the only part where a very small increase was observed compared to 1995, when this contribution amounted to 0.39%). The total employment directly and indirectly generated by the distribution of alcoholic beverages, was estimated at 64 400 persons, which is 1.58% of total employment (2.33% in 1995). This number includes 13 600 persons involved in the distribution of imported alcoholic beverages but excludes the 10 900 employed in the production of alcoholic beverages. Employment figures include self‐employed persons and part‐time workers.

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