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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.

Documents (52)


  • Network industry reform in Belgium: the macroeconomic impact 06/10/2006

    Two Working Papers on the macroeconomic impact of network industry reform have been published. The first is a detailed report in Dutch, the second a summary paper in English. The analysis builds on a simulation by FPB’s macroeconometric model HERMES, and a simulation by IMF’s general equilibrium model GEM. Although both simulations were based on the same exogenous input, they gave significantly different outcomes. This sheds light on the applicability of different modelling approaches to an issue at hand.

    Articles - Working Paper 08-06 / 10-06  

  • Network Industry Reform in Belgium: Macroeconometric versus General-Equilibrium Analyses 30/09/2006

    In network industries the market reform that is being pursued by national and supranational authorities should lead to an improvement of efficiency, which spills over into a beneficial macroeconomic impact. This paper presents two alternative simulations of the potential impact in Belgium. These simulations give very different outcomes, but are still complementary. A macroeconometric approach seems to be more realistic in the short and mid term because it has been built up from observed behavioural relationships. A general-equilibrium approach gives rise to drawing some lessons about the conditions that make the impact more pronounced in the long term.

    Working Papers - Working Paper 10-06  Publication(en),

  • Price regulation in the sectors of over-the-counter medicines and old people’s homes 13/03/2006

    Price regulation has for a long time existed in a limited number of sectors in Belgium. The paper gives an overview of the legislation in this area and looks in particular at the sectors of over-the-counter medicines and old people’s homes. It describes the system and proposes a number of changes to the regulatory framework.

    Articles - Working Paper 19-05  


  • STU 02-05 : Special Topic - Market reform in network industries in Belgium 17/05/2005

    The medium-term outlook for Belgium (cut-off date: April 30) points towards an average GDP growth rate of 2.2% during the 2005-2010 period, which is slightly higher than potential (2.1%). This pace of growth is expected to take place after a slowdown in economic growth in 2005 (1.7%) and a rebound in 2006 (2.6%). In both years Belgian economic growth should be slightly higher than in the euro area. Recent information makes the 2005 growth figure highly uncertain, with a significant downward risk.

    Despite moderate wage increases, the average yearly growth rate of private consumption should reach 1.9% during the 2005-2010 period, particularly thanks to the increase in households’ disposable income (stimulated particularly by reductions in personal income tax and the rise in employment). Investment growth should reach 3% on average during the 2005-2010 period, mainly reflecting the increase in business investment but also an acceleration of public investment in 2005 and 2006. Growth in exports should be 5.5% on average and the contribution of net exports to GDP growth is expected to be 0.2%. Limited wage cost increases, lower oil prices as compared to the average level in 2005 and a negative output gap should allow inflation to remain around 1.8% in the medium term.

    The development of employment should reflect the favourable macroeconomic context, the limited increases in wage costs and various policy measures. After the net creation of approximately 29,000 and 21,000 jobs in 2004 and 2005 respectively, about 40,000 jobs should be created every year during the 2006-2010 period. Between 2004 and 2010 industrial employment should fall by 51,000 persons and the number of jobs created in market services should exceed 270,000. Nevertheless, in view of the growth in the labour force (mainly in the 50-64 age group) the fall in unemployment will be limited to 50,000. The unemployment rate (broad administrative statistics) is still increasing in 2005 (from 14.4% to 14.6%), but it will subsequently fall to 12.9% in 2010.

    Under the assumption of unchanged policy, the public accounts are expected to show a clear deterioration, with a net public sector borrowing requirement appearing in 2005 (0.5% of GDP) and widening to 1.5% of GDP in 2006 before gradually declining to 0.7% of GDP by the end of the projection period. Nevertheless, the total public debt to GDP ratio is still in decline, from 95.8% in 2004 to 82.6% in 2010.

    Closed series - Short Term Update 02-05  Publication(en),



  • STU 01-03 : Special Topic - Reform of network industries in Belgium 10/03/2003

    In the first half of 2002 the world economy seemed to recover from the sharp decline during 2001. This recovery was not, however, confirmed during the second half of the year.

    In this muddled international business climate, the recovery of the Belgian economy is postponed until the second half of 2003. In annual average terms, GDP should grow this year by 1.3%. For the first two quarters of this year, positive but very modest GDP growth is assumed. Growth should be higher during the second half of the year, but clearly not as high as seen in previous economic recoveries in 1996 and 1999. Under these circumstances, the employment rate should fall for the second consecutive year, thus scoring 0.6 points lower than its previous peak in 2001. Consumer price inflation should remain rather stable at around 1.4%.

    As economic agents are at present spellbound by the growing threat of a war in the Middle East, and the outcome of that conflict situation is hard to predict, the uncertainty margin surrounding the international economic context, is of course extremely high.

    Closed series - Short Term Update 01-03  Publication(en),

  • Network industries in Belgium - Economic significance and reform 31/01/2003

    Network industries are industries whose activity involves conveying people, products or information from one place to the other via some kind of physical network. They include transport networks, information networks and utility networks. Network industries basically consist of three types of activity: upstream activities involving the production of core products such as equipment and means of transport; infrastructure activities involving the construction, maintenance and operation of the physical network; downstream activities involving the delivery of network services to final consumers. Network industries have specific characteristics from an economic point of view. Three of these are particularly notable, the last one also from a social perspective.

    Working Papers - Working Paper 01-03  Publication(en),


  • Towards E-Gov in Belgium - Situation in August 2002 01/11/2002

    This brief overview will consider e-gov achievements and plans at each policy level, together with the specific organizational and management systems that are being constructed for the purpose of implementing them. E-gov can be considered as a very large object to study. The aim of this paper is not to be exhaustive but to give an overview of the most significant initiatives in the area.

    In Belgium e-gov is not an end in itself but is considered as a tool of the so-called “Copernicus Plan” ( to modernize the public service in order to achieve better service delivery to citizens, better functioning of the civil services and a simplification of administrative burdens.

    Working Papers - Working Paper 10-02  Publication(en),



  • STU 01-00 : Special Topic - Government participation in Belgian companies 28/02/2000

     The recovery in world economic growth in 1999 led to a strong acceleration in economic growth in Belgium during the second half of 1999. Faced with improved prospects, the manufacturing sector is expected to build up stocks again from the fourth quarter of 1999 onwards, after having strongly reduced their stocks during the recent economic slowdown (mid-1998 to mid-1999).

    Fixed capital formation in non-industrial sectors increased strongly in 1999, private consumption grew at a relatively sustained pace, and the contribution from external trade was positive. For 1999 as a whole, economic growth in Belgium reached 2.3%. The upward trend of all demand components in the course of 1999, if confirmed, will lead to a positive carry-over effect for the year 2000.

    Economic activity in Europe should accelerate in 2000, US economic growth should be sustained and the emerging economies should continue their recovery. Belgian export markets should then grow faster in 2000 than in 1999. Moreover, the depreciation of the euro during the 1999-2000 period and the new cuts in non-wage costs should boost the price competitiveness of the Belgian economy. For the first time for more than 10 years, Belgium should even slightly increase its market shares.

    The contribution of stockbuilding towards economic growth should be largely positive, the rate of investment by companies should rise again and household investment should recover. The growth in household disposable income should reach 2.3% in real terms in 2000 (1.4% in 1999), thanks to a new strong creation in employment, a slightly higher growth in real wages and an increase in capital income. Private consumption should rise by 2.1% leaving the savings rate quasi unchanged.

    All in all, Belgian GDP growth should reach 3.2% in 2000, thanks to dynamic domestic demand (2.9%) and a net contribution from exports (0.4%).

    Oil prices more than doubled between December 1998 and December 1999. Energy prices are not, however, expected to continue rising in 2000, while underlying inflation should accelerate somewhat in the course of the year. The consumption price index should increase by 1.5% in 2000 (compared with 1.1% in 1999) and the health index by 1.3%.

    Growth prospects for 2000 should allow a further reduction of the public deficit.

    Closed series - Short Term Update 01-00  Publication(en),


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