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This report shows the estimations of potential growth and the output gap for Belgium, based on a technical update of the Federal Planning Bureau’s June 2020 medium-term projections (update published in September 2020). The results are then compared to the European Commission’s Spring 2020 forecasts.
In preparation of the 2018 Pension Adequacy Report by the European Commission and the Social Protection Committee, teams from Belgium, Sweden and Italy use their microsimulation models to simulate the possible developments of pension adequacy while taking into account the set of economic and demographic projections developed by the AWG. The results of this exercise complement the AWG simulations of pension expenditures in a context of demographic. The results described in detail in this report were summarised in section 5.1.2. of the 2018 Pension Adequacy Report.
In the framework of the publication of its Economic Outlook for Belgium, the Federal Planning Bureau has estimated the potential growth and the output gap since 2003. This report presents a retrospective analysis of the properties of the short-term and long-term revisions of the potential growth and the output gap. A comparison with the results based on the EC estimations is also provided. This work falls within the legal tasks of the Institute of National Accounts in the field of forecast assessment.
The uncertainty surrounding the estimates of potential output has risen in the euro area countries since the outbreak of the financial crisis. Moreover, potential growth in the euro area has fallen since 2009. In this working paper we examine both phenomena for Belgium based on potential GDP estimates produced by the Federal Planning Bureau. We also analyse the evolution of the three main underlying determinants of potential growth, namely the contribution of labour, capital and total factor productivity.
Since a couple of decades, the pension policy of member states is a focal point of attention on the European level. Securing financial sustainability by the AWG requires a prospective vision on ageing, labour market developments and social policy. But a sensible assessment of financial sustainability cannot do without taking into account the prospect ive development of pension adequacy. The SPC does this through prospective theoretical replacement rates and benefit ratios. However, prospective values of the key ISG indicators, such as the risk of poverty rate or the Gini are not available.
This new outlook for the world economy is based on the Belgian Federal Planning Bureau’s NIME model and covers the period 2013-2024. The projection indicates that there should be a limited growth rebound over the period 2013-2016. Over this period, economic growth should allow a closing of the euro area’s output gap, even though world economic growth should continue to be driven mainly by countries other than those of the EU, the United States and Japan. In the longer run, world growth should decline due to a general slowdown in productivity growth, but also due to unfavourable demographic trends.
It should be noted that these 2013-2024 projections for the world economy do not serve as input for the Federal Planning Bureau’s short-term forecasts and medium-term projections for Belgium. Indeed, these latter rely on various ad hoc methodologies and integrate international forecasts from institutions such as the EU Commission, the OECD and the IMF.
This Working Paper is aimed at describing the current version of Federal Planning Bureau’s medium-term macrosectoral model, named HERMES. This model is used to produce on a regular basis medium-term outlooks for the Belgian economy. In addition to the main macroeconomic aggregates (GDP, private consumption, external trade, investments,…), those outlooks also concern labour market aggregates, detailed public finances, energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions. The HERMES model is also used to compute the impact of policy measures and external shocks on the Belgian economy.
A consensus quickly emerged among national and international organizations, based on past experiences, that the financial crisis that erupted in 2008 would have a long-lasting impact on the level of output. An initial quantification of the potential output loss imputable to the crisis for Belgium was presented in WP 10-09. This Working Paper provides an update of this analysis and examines through the successive revisions of projections made by the Federal Planning Bureau how the perception of the crisis has evolved over the last two years and what its implications are for the medium run. The shortfall in potential output is now estimated to be less than 3 %, close to the area-wide loss estimated for the OECD-countries.
The Federal Planning Bureau took part, in collaboration with the German institute diw Berlin, in a technical assistance project aimed at developing different modelling approaches for the economy of Lesotho, a small country landlocked within the territory of South Africa. This paper summarises the major characteristics of the macro-econometric model that was elaborated in the context of this project. The modelling strategy relies on its complementarities and interactions with the so-called ‘Financial Programming’, implemented by other partners of the project team. In addition, the paper presents a baseline up to the fiscal year 2012/2013 as well as an alternative scenario in which public expenditures are reduced in response to the expected decrease in customs receipts.
The present paper computes cumulative employment generated by the Belgian environmental industry. Relying on Belgian input-output tables for the year 2000 and on detailed employment data (SAM sub-matrix), we investigate the patterns of the employment in the environmental industry, by considering the worker types differentiated by gender, educational attainment or a combination of these characteristics. The employment multiplier analysis of environmental employment reveals some interesting differences between employment of the overall economy and environmental employment for the level of education as well as for the gender type.
The concepts of potential growth and output gap are important tools to evaluate the state of the business cycle and to assess the supply-side capacity of an economy. They have also become an essential ingredient of the European fiscal surveillance process. However, the global economy is facing its most widespread crisis in the post-war era and consequently the uncertainty regarding the impact of the crisis on supply-side conditions is enormous. In this Working Paper we compare revisions on potential growth for Belgium made recently by the Federal Planning Bureau and international organizations. Those comparisons aim at highlighting the uncertainty associated with those revisions as well as understanding better some of the channels through which the crisis may reduce potential output.
Since August 2007, the world economy has fallen into recession and has been confronted with a severe financial crisis. In the context of what is now a world-wide recession, what hope can we place in announced fiscal stimulus plans? Will the fiscal stimulus plans decided and implemented in both the euro area and the United States since end 2008 be adequate responses, most notably in the face of the current systemic financial crisis? This document provides an evaluation of the effectiveness of fiscal policy and of current stimulus plans. It indicates that, while the fiscal stimulus measures will undoubtedly prove to be useful in limiting the scale and duration of the downturn, they won’t be sufficient by themselves to prevent a lengthy recession followed by a tepid recovery. In order to maximise the effectiveness of the stimulus plans, these should be accompanied by accommodative monetary policy. Furthermore, in view of accelerating and underpinning a recovery in world-wide economic activity, fiscal and monetary policies will also have to be supplemented by measures aimed at re-establishing properly functioning banking and financial sectors.
Several legal missions from the Federal Planning Bureau require the construction of long-term macroeconomic scenarios for the Belgian economy. In order to increase the consistency of these scenarios and to build them within a rigorous theoretical framework, it appeared important to develop a new long-term model that considers economic growth as depending upon the supply of production factors.
The theoretical structure of the model draws on similar work done by the Dutch CPB. In the working paper we detail the construction, the properties and the estimation of the parameters based upon quarterly data from the Belgian national accounts. The model should contribute for instance to the production of long-term macro-economic scenarios to evaluate the budgetary cost of ageing.
This August 2007 issue of the NIME Outlook for the World Economy presents a 2007-2013 macroeconomic projection for the major areas of the world. The outlook was produced using NIME, the Belgian Federal Planning Bureau’s macroeconometric world model. This issue includes a number of essential stochastic results relative to our new outlook, as well as an assessment of other less easily quantifiable risks that are currently seen to weigh on the outlook. The major technical assumptions behind the outlook and a brief description of the NIME model are presented in the appendix.
The January 2007 issue of the NIME Outlook for the World Economy presents a 2007-2013 macroeconomic projection for the major areas of the world. The outlook was produced using NIME, the Belgian Federal Planning Bureau’s macroeconometric world model. This issue also includes a number of essential stochastic results concerning the new world economic outlook. The major technical assumptions behind the outlook as well as a brief description of the NIME model are presented in the appendix.
In this Working Paper, we describe how we used stochastic simulation to evaluate the risks surrounding the January 2006 nime Economic Outlook (neo) for the world economy. We summarise the main results by showing confidence intervals around the baseline projection as well as probabilities that certain events will occur. The results presented in this Working Paper are of an illustrative nature and do not constitute an update of the January 2006 nime Economic Outlook.
Over the 1995-2004 period, the evolution of stock market indices in the United States and Europe exhibited a distinct boom-and-bust pattern, rising dramatically during the second half of the 1990s and falling sharply at the turn of the century. These changes in asset prices affected household wealth and the financing cost of investments, so that the period of rising asset prices was also characterised by strong economic growth, while the period of falling asset prices saw weaker growth. As equity markets were largely driven by "irrational exuberance" in the second half of the 1990s, it is sometimes argued that, in order to foster a more balanced growth path, the monetary authorities in the United States and the euro area should have targeted changes in a price index which not only includes contemporaneous consumer prices but also asset prices.
In this Working Paper we assess the worldwide macroeconomic implications of an interest rate rule whereby the major central banks of the world target not only changes in the traditional consumer price index but also changes in asset prices. We do this by simulating the nime model over the 1995-2004 period with an interest rate rule similar to the well-known Taylor rule, but augmented for changes in asset prices.
In this Working Paper, we use the nime model to assess the macroeconomic effects of an oil price shock on the world economy. We start with an overview of the nime model, and a presentation of our modelling of oil price shocks. Next, we examine the effect of a permanent 25 per cent increase in the price of oil, under the assumption that the shock is caused by an increase in the mark-up of the oil price.
In this paper, we use the nime model to assess the medium-term macro-economic effects for the European Union (eu) of a one percentage point cut in the social security contribution rate, and a one percentage point increase in the labour participation rate. In the case of a cut in the social security contribution rate, we consider two variants. First, we consider the variant in which the tax cut is ex ante financed by an across the board cut in public outlays. Next, we consider the variant in which the tax cut is ex ante financed by an increase in the indirect tax rates. In the long run, such measures increase unambiguously employment and potential output, thereby raising the standard of living of the eu citizens and reinforcing the sustainability of the social protection system. However, all kinds of rigidities prevent an immediate adjustment towards the new equilibrium, so that economic activity may be less buoyant in the medium-term. This paper describes these medium-term effects.
Each year, the Federal Planning Bureau (fpb) prepares a medium-term outlook for the Belgian economy with its macro-econometric hermes model. One of the key inputs of this exercise is a baseline scenario for the Belgian international economic environment, which includes an outlook for the output, imports, prices and financial variables of the major trading partners of Belgium. Traditionally, this international environment is based on the medium-term outlook presented by the European Commission in its Autumn Forecasts or the most recent available medium-term outlook of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (oecd).
The macro-econometric nime model is one of the analytical tools used by the Belgian Federal Planning Bureau to improve its understanding of developments in the Belgian international economic environment. This paper shows some concrete applications with this model by analysing the spill-over effects of shocks from the United States (us) to the euro area and the rest of the world. The shocks we investigate are a temporary increase in public expenditures in the us, a us-led world-wide permanent increase in total factor productivity, an increase in the risk premium in the us stock market, and a temporary 1 percentage point increase in the us short-term interest rate. Here, we will discuss how these shocks affect economic activity in the us and how they are transmitted to the euro area. Such an analysis can be useful because it catalogues answers to questions which are often posed by economists who want to assess their medium term projection of the euro area economy.
Since 1994 the Federal Planning Bureau has been using the annual version of the econometric model modtrim as a central tool to produce its short-term macroeconomic forecasts. At the origin of the project, and as its name indicates, this annual version was meant to be short-lived and quickly replaced by a quarterly version. Unfortunately, the lack of quarterly national accounts prevented from doing so for several years. In 1998, the Institute for National Accounts published official quarterly accounts for the first time and the construction of the quarterly version of the model started in Spring 2000. On that occasion, the opportunity was taken to reassess all behavioural equations of the model. The more limited availability of quarterly data, in comparison with annual data, implied that a more aggregated version of the accounting framework of the yearly model had to be constructed.
In this paper, we investigate with a macroeconometric world model how mone-tary policy rules affect economic activity in the euro area. In the economic literature, there is a general consensus that a credible monetary policy rule is to be preferred to discretionary interventions by central banks because monetary surprises can increase expected inflation and worsen economic performance (Kydland and Prescott (1977)). Several monetary policy rules have been proposed, for example, money targeting (Friedman (1956)), inflation targeting (Bernanke et al. (1999)), nominal income targeting (Hall and Mankiw (1994), Frankel and Chinn (1995)), and an interest rate rule that targets inflation and output relative to a reference value (Taylor (1993)). Although the theoretical merits of these rules have been thoroughly discussed in the literature, the empirical investigation of the implications of these rules has only recently commenced (Bryant et al. (1993)).
In this paper, we investigate how automatic fiscal stabilisers affect economic activity in the euro area. For this purpose we apply several shocks to the NIME-model, and we compare the adjustment path of the main macroeconomic variables under a regime that allows the automatic fiscal stabilisers to operate fully, with the results for a regime that tempers the working of the automatic fiscal stabilisers. We also compare the results for the euro area with results for the United States and Japan.
In the second section of this paper, we briefly describe the NIME model. In the third section, we present simulation results for various shocks under two different fiscal regimes.