Dans un souci de transparence et d’information, le BFP publie régulièrement les méthodes et résultats de ses travaux. Les publications sont organisées en séries, entre autres, les perspectives, les working papers et planning papers. Certains rapports peuvent également être consultés ici, de même que les bulletins du Short Term Update publiés jusqu’en 2015. Une recherche par thématique, type de publication, auteur et année vous est proposée.
Planning & Working Papers - Working Paper 02-00 (en),
Planning & Working Papers - Working Paper 01-00 (fr), (nl),
Since our July forecasts, a number of new developments inside and outside Belgium have occurred. Taking those elements into account, a rapid and tentative updating of our forecasts for 1999-2000 has been made.
The first element concerns the good news stemming from the quarterly national accounts of a higher than expected GDP growth in the second quarter of 1999. As a result, over the first half of 1999, Belgian GDP growth reached 1.7% (yoy). The FPB GDP-leading indicator points to a further cyclical upturn in the second half of the year. It is also worth stressing that according to the information available today (in terms of value added, trade and unemployment), the impact of the dioxin crisis is still in line with the assumptions made in our July forecasts.
All in all, GDP growth in 1999 has been revised upward from 1.7% to 1.9%.
As prospects for the world economy are looking brighter now than four months ago and the 2000 Federal Budget is on an expansionary track, GDP growth in 2000 has been revised upward from 2.5% to 3.0%. Both developments are complementary - in the sense that the former primarily triggers exports, whereas the latter in the short-term mainly boosts private consumption- although the impact of the more favourable international environment on GDP growth is more important than the revision coming from the Budget 2000.
The acceleration of Belgian export markets in 2000 should indeed be stronger than previously expected due to higher import growth experienced by our European trading partners as well as in the rest of the world, resulting in stronger export growth than estimated earlier.
Compared to our July forecasts, the budgetary impulse for 2000 taken into account in these new forecasts is more than BEF 30 billion. At this stage, the simulation results in this field must be interpreted with caution. The most important effect of the measures should be seen in the area of private consumption, resulting from an increase in employment (reductions in social contributions) and accordingly in households’ real disposable income (reinforced by tax cuts and higher pensions).
Short Term Update - Short Term Update 04-99 (en),
Planning & Working Papers - Working Paper 07-99 (fr), (nl),
L’étude porte sur les effets macroéconomiques et budgétaires d’opérations de re- déploiement de la pression fiscale et parafiscale consistant en l’instauration d’une cotisation sociale généralisée ( CSG ), qui viendrait remplacer différents prélève- ments fiscaux ou parafiscaux existant actuellement. La pression fiscale de la CSG sur l’ensemble des revenus professionnels, immobiliers et de remplacement se- rait équivalente à celle des prélèvements supprimés; cependant dans la mesure où la CSG serait assise sur une assiette plus large, elle génère un produit net pour les finances publiques. Différentes modalités d’affectation de ce produit sont exa- minées du point de vue des effets macroéconomiques et budgétaires: allègement du déficit des administrations publiques, élargissement de la tranche exonérée de la CSG , baisse des cotisations patronales de sécurité sociale et diminution du taux normal de TVA. La deuxième section du présent rapport présente de façon détaillée les modalités d’introduction de la CSG , les prélèvements supprimés et les diverses affectations du produit net qui sont retenues. La troisième section présente les effets macroéconomiques et budgétaires de la CSG , dans différentes hypothèses d’affectation envisagées
Planning & Working Papers - Working Paper 06-99 (fr), (nl),
Forecasts & Outlook - Economic Forecasts 2000 (fr), (nl),
Planning & Working Papers - Working Paper 04-99 (fr),
Planning & Working Papers - Working Paper 02-99 (fr),
Sustained economic growth in Belgium in 1998 was supported by rapidly growing private consumption and investment. In contrast, the contribution of trade to real economic growth was negative in 1998. Nevertheless, a strong increase in terms of trade, due to the low prices of raw materials, allowed trade still to make a positive contribution towards growth in nominal terms.
Export performance remains the key question for 1999: the deterioration of our export markets led to negative growth in Belgian exports in 1998Q4 (t/t-4) and the timing and strength of a recovery remain uncertain. International organisations are forecasting a clear upturn in world trade in mid-1999. On the basis of this scenario, the FPB is forecasting economic growth in Belgium of 2% in 1999.
So far, however, leading indicators suggest that the upturn in exports in 1999 could be weaker than expected. The Balkan crisis is also having a negative impact on growth prospects. On the other hand, the recent fall in interest and exchange rates in the euro area does improve prospects for 1999.
Domestic demand is not expected to be as buoyant as in 1998, and it should continue to drive growth in 1999. With a 1% increase in employment, consumer confidence will remain high: private consumption growth should be around 2%. Inflation remains at around 1%. The general government borrowing requirement should be less than 1% of GDP, due to the low level of interest rates.
The medium-term outlook for Belgium points to an average growth rate of GDP of 2.5% per year during the 2000-2004 period in an “unchanged policy” scenario. Gross nominal wages are expected to be broadly in line with nominal labour costs in the neighbouring countries. Planned cuts in non-wage costs should therefore lead to enhanced competitiveness. Nonetheless, the slightly accelerated pace of inflation in Europe should cause domestic inflation to rise to 1.6%. The average rate of growth of employment, strongly supported by active labour market policy measures, is estimated at around 0.9% per year in average, leading to a drop in unemployment.
Based on this scenario, the general government financing capacity should become positive from 2001 onward. The “budgetary margins”, which will cumulatively reach 1.7% of GDP in 2004, will probably be used to decrease the tax burden or/and increase expenditure: this “changed policy” scenario implies stronger macroeconomic performance than the “unchanged policy” scenario.
Short Term Update - Short Term Update 02-99 (en),
Forecasts & Outlook - Economic Outlook 1999-2004 A (fr), (nl),
Forecasts & Outlook - Economic Outlook 1999-2004 (fr), (nl),
Forecasts & Outlook - Economic Forecasts 1999 C (fr), (nl),
The FPB is reassessing the state of the economy in 1998 and its possible evolution for 1999.
In 1998 the Belgian economy has continued to grow strongly and has moved into a “mature” phase of recovery with exports and investment no longer providing the engine for growth. Private consumption, fed mainly by employment growth, moderate real wage increases and high consumer confidence, took over their role. Employment growth remains impressive.
The outlook for the world economy for 1999 has deteriorated: the Asian crisis has widened and deepened and contagion effects have started to affect also Russia, Latin American countries and, to a lesser extent, Eastern Europe. World financial markets have shown extreme volatility. Continental European countries will be affected by the deterioration of the global economic performance and the weakening of the USD, but should nevertheless become the fastest growing area in the world.
Any forecast concerning Belgium is fragile in this context but it seems likely that the GDP-growth forecast for 1999 given in July (2.6%) is too optimistic. The Belgian economy might not be growing faster than 2.2% with significant downward risks on the domestic and international side.
Many uncertainties and downward risks regarding the international environment are linked, and, given the interdependencies in the global economy could trigger all the others and lead to a sharp deterioration in the overall economic situation.
Export growth should be significantly lower than in 1998 while private consumption should be less affected. Employment should still increase by 0.8% and the unemployment rate should further fall from 8.6% to 8.3% (Eurostat standardised definition).
In any case, consumption price inflation remains subdued at about 0.9% (1% for the “health” index). Wage increases will remain moderate, under the influence of the “wage norm”. Interest rates in Belgium drop in line with international rates. This should be a positive factor for domestic demand.
Short Term Update - Short Term Update 04-98 (en),
Planning & Working Papers - Working Paper 08-98 (en),
Forecasts & Outlook - Economic Forecasts 1999 (fr), (nl),
Planning & Working Papers - Working Paper 06-98 (fr), (nl),
Growth in Belgium in 1997 turned out significantly better than expected, but some weakening has occurred during the last quarter. The underlying trend in GDP growth should, however, confirm the 2.5% growth forecast for 1998.
The weakening in growth activity at the end of last year is to a large extent due to a significantly lower rate of growth for exports. As has been mentioned in other FPB-publications, the Asia crisis is having a dampening effect on the world and also the Belgian economy. The impact of the Asia crisis will mainly be felt in trade. Export growth will, therefore, continue to be negatively affected by slower growth in world trade. Price competitiveness has, on the other hand, improved considerably during the last two years. All in all, net exports should continue to make a positive contribution to GDP growth, but this contribution will be smaller than in 1997. As the effect of the Asia crisis is expected to be limited to 1998, some increase in growth is again expected in 1999 with GDP growth of 2.8%.
Domestic demand and particularly private consumption have continued to show a marked improvement. The consumer confidence index, strengthened by the creation of considerable employment opportunities, somewhat higher wage increases and good news concerning public finance, points to sustained consumer growth during the first quarters of 1998.
The medium-term outlook for Belgium points to an average growth rate of 2.6% over the next five years. But even with this rate of growth and moderate wage increases in accordance with the 1996 Framework Law, unemployment is likely to remain above the 1990 level. The growth in employment is estimated at around 0.75% per year and the supply of labour would increase by 0.2% per year.
The general government borrowing requirement should continue to show a gradual decrease and become a surplus from 2002 onwards in an “unchanged policy” scenario. The primary surplus should remain close to 6% from 1997 to 2000 and should increase again from then on. The debt ratio and interest burden are clearly decreasing.
Consumer price inflation should remain at 1.1% this year and show only a slight increase next year. If there are no external shocks and if wages continue to be constrained by the Competitiveness Law, there are few reasons why price stability should be threatened in future. Nominal interest rates should remain low.
Short Term Update - Short Term Update 02-98 (en),
Planning & Working Papers - Working Paper 02-98 (nl),
Forecasts & Outlook - Economic Forecasts 1998 C (fr), (nl),
Planning & Working Papers - Planning Paper 84 (fr), (nl),
An improvement in the most recent economic indicators and a better outlook for the European economy have prompted the FPB to revise its growth forecasts. GDP is now expected to grow by 2.4% in 1997 and 2.7% in 1998, compared to the previous forecasts of 2.1% and 2.5% respectively.
Higher growth rates are forecast for domestic as well as external demand. The revision, however, is mainly based on external factors. Exporters are benefiting with a certain time lag from a stronger USD and UKP. The combined expected depreciation of the BEF over 1997-98 is now 4.5%. As it concerns essentially a depreciation of the currencies of the whole DEM-zone, not only Belgian exporters benefit from this, but the impact on the economies of the other continental European countries is also positive. This, in turn, improves market opportunities for Belgian exporters.
The recent import price increases are linked to the exchange rate evolution. Consumer price inflation, however, remains subdued and is expected to amount to 1.65% in 1997 and 1.7% in 1998. The recent and expected rises in short term interest rates on the European continent should not have a significant effect on economic activity.
There are a few small signs of an improving labour market. In 1998, employment should increase by 44,000, taking into account specific programmes targeting unemployed people. This should therefore lead to increased private consumption and higher tax receipts.
The macroeconomic impact of the 1998-Budget is small. The government deficit should be well below 3% of GDP in 1997 and 1998. The deficit figures of 2.5% and 2.3% for 1997 and 1998 respectively, announced by the FPB in April, should be achieved without difficulty. The expected economic growth and the measures set out in the 1998-Budget should even enable the deficit to be reduced further.
Short Term Update - Short Term Update 02-97 (en),
Forecasts & Outlook - Economic Forecasts 1998 (fr), (nl),
Planning & Working Papers - Working Paper 03-97 (en),
Planning & Working Papers - Working Paper 02-97 (nl),
Dans le cadre du débat sur la réduction du déficit public en Belgique, plusieurs variantes techniques de diminution des dépenses primaires ou d’augmentation des recettes des administrations publiques ont été simulées. L’objectif de ces exercices, parfois peu réalistes du point de vue de leur praticabilité socio-politique, est de réaliser une comparaison des effets induits.
Planning & Working Papers - Planning Paper 78 (fr), (nl),