The last five databases
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.
Working Papers - Working Paper 14-10 (fr),
Working Papers - Working Paper 06-10 (fr),
This paper investigates the relationship between the relative positions, in terms of value added and relative prices, of Belgian manufacturing and market services in the European Union over 1970-2005. Relative prices are then broken down into relative unit costs of production factors. The analysis goes further by decomposing relative unit labour cost into relative hourly wages and relative productivity. Finally, relative productivity is broken down into relative capital deepening, relative labour
composition effect and relative total factor productivity.
Articles - Article 2009100605
This paper investigates graphically and econometrically the relationship between the relative positions, in terms of value added and relative prices, of Belgian manufacturing and market services in the European Union over 1970-2005. Relative prices are then decomposed into relative unit costs of factors of production. The analysis goes further by replacing relative unit labour cost with relative hourly wages and relative productivity. Finally, relative produc-tivity is replaced with relative capital deepening, relative labour composition effect and relative total factor productivity. All data are coming from the EUKLEMS database, March 2008 release.
Working Papers - Working Paper 09-09 (en),
Worries about massive job losses have prompted a fast-growing literature on offshoring and its impact on employment in advanced economies. This paper examines the situation for Belgium. The offshoring intensity is computed as the share of imported intermediate inputs in output, based on a series of constant price supply- and-use tables for 1995-2003. Estimations of static and dynamic industry-level labour demand equations augmented by offshoring intensities, do not reveal a significant impact of either materials or business services offshoring on total employment for Belgium between 1995 and 2003, but this does not preclude a differential impact by skill-level.
Articles - Article 2009030203
The fear of massive job losses has prompted a fast-growing literature on offshoring and its impact on employment in advanced economies. This paper examines the situation for Belgium. The offshoring intensity is computed as a volume measure of the share of imported intermediate inputs in output based on a series of constant price supply-and-use tables for the period 1995-2003. Both materials and business services offshoring to high-wage and low-wage countries are addressed. The split-up according to the origin of the imported intermediates is done combining detailed trade data with data from the use table. The main findings are that materials offshoring stands at a higher level than business services offshoring, but that the latter grows much faster especially for the Central and Eastern European countries. Estimations of static and dynamic industry-level labour demand equations augmented by offshoring intensities do not reveal a significant impact of either materials or business services offshoring on total employment for Belgium between 1995 and 2003. However, this does not preclude a differential impact by skill-level.
Working Papers - Working Paper 01-09 (en),
Working Papers - Working Paper 23-08 (nl),
Increased international economic integration and skill-biased technological change are often regarded as the main drivers of the rising inequality in wages and employment witnessed in industrialized countries in recent decades as they are believed to emphasize differences between individuals in level of education. However, proponents of a task-based view of technological change and offshoring stress the evolving content of tasks as the major determinant of shifts in labour demand and argue that this does not necessarily imply a clear-cut match between the level of education and job opportunities. Belgian data from the Structure and Distribution of Earnings Survey for the period 1999-2004 suggest that the level of wages is significantly correlated with the level of education but wage growth is not. Occupation seems to explain a statistically significant part of the wage level as well as wage growth of workers. The analysis supports the view that the level of education provides less information than the occupation of workers in explaining changes in wages and employment. Overall, it appears that a policy that simply aims to increase the level of education of the active population is not warranted. In addition to the risk of over-education, such a policy is not likely to alleviate the mismatch which to some extent exists between the competencies required by employers and the competencies offered by workers and the unemployed.
Working Papers - Working Paper 22-08 (en),
Offshoring has since long been a matter of concern in developed countries and has recently received growing attention in the economic literature. The aim of this paper is to provide a critical review of definitions of offshoring that have been put forward in recent years, thereby updating the definitions in earlier publications of the Federal Planning Bureau. We also take a closer look at how offshoring can be measured. In the absence of individual firm data, we focus on indirect trade-based measures of offshoring, compare them and present results for Belgium that show an upward trend in offshoring.
Working Papers - Working Paper 09-08 (en),
The present paper follows up on the longstanding tradition of analysing trends in relocation or offshoring at the Federal Planning Bureau. Replicating and extending a method developed by the OECD, it provides a rough estimate for Belgium of the proportion of service jobs at risk of being offshored in the wake of information and communication technology (ICT) developments, and compares the results for Belgium with results for the EU15 and the US. Occupational employment data from the Labour Force Survey are used to produce this estimate by identifying service jobs that could possibly be offshored due to ICT-enabled tradability.
Articles - Article 2007051801
This paper provides a rough estimate for Belgium of the proportion of service jobs at risk of being offshored in the wake of ICT-developments, and compares the results for Belgium with results for the EU15 and the US. Occupational employment data from the Labour Force Survey are used to produce this estimate by identifying service jobs that could possibly be offshored due to ICT-enabled tradability. The results show that the share of such jobs is lower for Belgium than for the EU15 or the US, but that there is an upward trend in this share over the period 1993 to 2005. Industry-level data and a shift-and-share analysis are used to explain the results.
Working Papers - Working paper 06-07 (en),
Working Papers - Working Paper 16-05 (fr), (nl),
The aim of this paper is to analyse the trends between 1991 and 2001 in the world export market shares of the bleu and a sample of other countries including among others the Member States of the European Union (eu). For this purpose, we apply Constant Market Shares Analysis (cmsa) to changes in the world export market shares of those countries for the subperiods 1991/1997 and 1997/2001.
Working Papers - Working Paper 07-05 (en),
The latest update of the FPB’s medium-term outlook for Belgium shows average GDP growth reaching 2.3% during the 2004-2009 period. This development can be largely accounted for by domestic demand, whereas the role of (net) exports is expected to be more limited. As in 2003, private consumption should evolve in quite a dynamic way during the projection period (1.9% on average), mainly as a result of an expansion of households’ disposable income. At the same time, gross fixed capital formation (and particularly business investment) should recover, with annual growth reaching 3%. The structural loss of export market share should be confirmed with exports increasing by 5.3% a year on average, compared with growth of 6.3% of our potential export markets.
Inflation should remain slightly below 2% in the medium term, mainly thanks to limited wage increases and moderate rises in imported costs. Employment is expected to increase by about 32,000 jobs a year during the 2005-2009 period. This performance can be explained by several factors: a relatively favourable macroeconomic context, limited wage increases, a reduction in working time and various measures taken to promote employment. At the same time, the working population should rise considerably. As a consequence, despite the creation of many jobs, the fall in the unemployment rate should be very limited.
The FPB’s October update of the medium term outlook for Belgium does not yet take into account the measures decided within the framework of the 2005 budget.
Closed series - Short Term Update 04-04 (en),
The medium-term outlook for Belgium is pointing towards a GDP growth rate of 2.2% during the 2004-2009 period, which is slightly higher than potential (2.0%). This favourable development is due to both net exports and domestic demand. Private consumption should become more dynamic during the 2005-2009 period, particularly thanks to the increase in households’ disposable income (especially due to tax reforms and increases in employment and social benefits). Investment growth should attain 2.9% during the 2004-2009 period, mainly reflecting the increase in business investment. After ini-tially accelerating in 2004, average export growth should be 5.4% and the contribution of net exports to GDP growth should be 0.2%. Thanks to limited increases in wages and import costs and a negative output gap during the first few years of the projection, the inflation rate will remain below 2% in the medium term.
The development of employment should reflect the favourable macroeconomic context, the limited in-creases in wage costs and various policy measures. After net losses in 2002 and 2003 and the creation of almost 9,000 jobs in 2004, about 30,000 jobs should be created every year during the 2005-2009 period. Industrial employment should fall by 44,000 persons during the 2004-2009 period and the number of jobs created in market services should exceed 200,000. Nevertheless, given the increase in the labour force (mainly in the 50-64 age class) the number of unemployed will barely decrease at all. The unemployment rate (broad administrative statistics) is still increasing in 2004 (from 14.1% to 14.4%), but will subsequently fall to 13.5% in 2009.
The public accounts are expected to show a clear deterioration, with a net public sector borrowing re-quirement appearing in 2004 and widening to 1.4% in 2006 before gradually declining to 0.7% by the end of the projection period.
Closed series - Short Term Update 02-04 (en),
Working Papers - Working Paper 10-04 (fr),
Working Papers - Working Paper 22-03 (nl),
This overview of the literature dedicated to the new economic geography intends to highlight the main mechanisms, which contribute to explain the spatial concentration of economic activity, in particular the formation of cities and industrial districts. This should provide some guidelines for an empirical analysis of the determinants of the spatial distribution of economic activity in urban areas in Belgium and for suggestions of economic policy instruments capable of influencing location choices.
Working Papers - Working Paper 16-02 (en),
Working Papers - Working Paper 07-01 (en),
Working Papers - Working Paper 06-01 (nl),
After a period of rapid expansion during 1999 and the first half of 2000, a clear worldwide slowdown was recorded in the second half of 2000. Current forecasts are assuming that world trade will recover in the second half of 2001. In line with this international scenario (lower growth, higher inflation), economic growth in Belgium has been revised downwards to 2.4% (compared to 2.8% in the economic budget last February). GDP growth next year should reach 2.8%, driven by stronger growth in exports and domestic demand.
In addition to the impact of the recovery of international trade, activity in 2002 should be fuelled by various internal factors boosting private consumption, such as wage and employment increases, the indexation of wages and social benefits above consumer price growth and personal income tax reform.
Domestic employment should rise by around 40,000 persons in 2001 and 45,000 in 2002, leading to a new improvement in the employment rate. Nevertheless, the impact on unemployment will be smaller, given the forecast increase in the labour force.
Inflation should be significantly lower in 2002 than in 2001 (1.5% as against 2.4% for consumer prices), thanks to a small decrease in energy prices, the stabilization of the euro exchange rate and lower prices for food products. The impact on inflation of the conversion of prices into euro is uncertain and any changes, should mainly be seen in 2001.
Closed series - Short Term Update 03-01 (en),
Belgian exports will be hit this year by the deceleration in world economic growth, which was already reflected by the net slowdown in world import demand at the end of last year. Even when taking into account the expected recovery in world trade from the second half of 2001 onwards, growth in Belgian export markets should significantly ease back. Moreover, the appreciation of the euro will reduce the price competitiveness of Belgian exports and would lead to loss of market share. As a result, the positive contribution towards real economic growth from external trade will decline.
Nevertheless, domestic demand should remain robust in 2001. Business investment should benefit from a rise in firms’ profitability due to the gain from the terms of trade (because of lower oil prices and the appreciation of the BEF). Private consumption will be sustained by substantial growth in household’s real disposable income as the expected deceleration in inflation will allow to regain part of the loss of purchasing power in 2000. Furthermore, households’ disposable income will also be supported by some personal tax cuts. Although the deterioration in the business cycle will lower the pace of employment growth, the higher labour-intensiveness, that has been observed during the last three years, will still give rise to a favorable employment outcome.
All in all, Belgian GDP is expected to decelerate from 3.9% in 2000 to 2.8% this year and to be less export-led than last year.
Taking into account the 2001 Budget and the macro-economic outlook presented above, and including the expected revenues from the UMTS licences (0.2% of GDP), the general government budget balance is expected to move from equilibrium in 2000 to a small surplus in 2001 (about 0.7% of GDP).
Closed series - Short Term Update 01-01 (en),
Other publications - Relocation 2000 - Summary (en), (fr), (nl),
Other publications - Relocation 2000 (nl),
Working Papers - Working Paper 02-00 (en),