Short Term Update (STU) is the quarterly newsletter of the Belgian Federal Planning Bureau. It contains the main conclusions from the publications of the FPB, as well as information on new publications, together with an analysis of the most recent economic indicators.
Headlines Belgian Economy
The FPB's latest short-term forecast dates from September (see STU 03-14). We projected, conditional on our traditional assumption of unchanged budgetary policy, a GDP growth rate of 1.1% in 2014 and 1.5% in 2015 for the Belgian economy. This forecast was established against the background of euro area economic growth amounting to 0.8% and 1.3% respectively.
Recent forecasts of the European Commission (October) and the OECD (November) took into account the most recent months' decline in European confidence indicators. As regards the Belgian economy, they incorporated the new regional governments' plans, which were not yet passed into law in September, as well as measures announced by the new federal government, which was formed in the first half of October. As a result, both institutions project a more subdued economic recovery for the euro
area and for Belgium (see p. 5).
The FPB's next short-term forecast for the Belgian economy will be published in February 2015. In the meantime, we have revised our inflation estimate considerably downwards. Belgian headline inflation, as measured by the national index of consumer prices, should amount to only 0.3% in both 2014 and 2015. This mainly reflects lower oil prices, but also stems from measures of the federal government agreement that could influence (underlying) inflation in a significant way (e.g. the wage indexation jump and the continuation of wage moderation).
STU 4-14 was finalised on 5 December 2014.