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The objective of the report is to provide an overview of the main drivers of economic growth and the productivity evolution in Belgium, in comparison with its three neighbouring countries and the US over 1970 and 2015. Recent evolutions, over 2000-2015, are analysed in details in order to shed light on the impact of the great recession. The growth accounting methodology is applied to explain labour productivity growth for the total economy, manufacturing and market services.
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.
Within the context of the economic stimulus plan adopted at the end of 2012, the government set up a group of experts from the National Bank of Belgium (NBB), the Federal Planning Bureau (FPB), the High Council for Employment (HCE), the Directorate General Statistics and Economic Information (DGSEI), the Central Economic Council (CEC) and Eurostat. The group was charged with the following missions:
To complete these missions, the group of experts has drawn up this two-part report. The first part (A) deals with productivity and labour costs and the second part (B) discusses training efforts by enterprises.
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.
The objective of the report is to provide an overview of the main drivers of economic growth and the productivity evolution in Belgium, in comparison with the EU and the US, between 1970 and 2005, based on a consistent data set. The growth accounting methodology is applied to explain value added and labour productivity growth for the total economy, manufacturing and market services. This decomposition exercise diverges from what has been applied in Belgium up to now, as it uses capital services flows rather than the capital stock and labour services flows rather than the number of hours worked to measure the contribution of these factors of production to economic and productivity growth. Contributions of the main industries to value added, employment and productivity growth are also estimated.
The objective of this report is to provide an overview of the main drivers of economic growth and productivity evolution in Belgium between 1970 and 2004, based on a consistent data set. The growth accounting methodology is applied to explain value added and labour productivity growth for total economy, manufacturing and market services. This decomposition exercise diverges from what has been applied in Belgium up to now, as it uses capital services flows rather than capital stock to measure the contribution of capital factor to production growth. Contributions of the main industries to value added, employment and productivitygrowth are also estimated.
This Working Paper presents the different methodologies currently used to construct a volume index of capital services and analyzes the effects of methodological changes on capital services and total factor productivity estimates for Belgium over the period 1970-2004. The measurement of capital services is realized in two steps. First, productive capital stocks have to be estimated for each type of asset. Two methodologies are generally used: the geometric and the hyperbolic profile. Secondly, these stocks are aggregated, using the user costs of capital (exante or ex-post approach) as weights to derive an overall index. For the economy as a whole and the entire period, under an ex-post approach, the volume indices of capital services estimated with a hyperbolic age-efficiency profile grow at a higher rate than the indices estimated with a geometric profile. This general conclusion is, however, not observed in every sector. Under an ex-ante approach, the different volume indices are quite similar for the whole economy, even if the indices grow generally at a slightly higher rate in the case of a geometric pattern. A higher growth rate of the volume indices generates a higher capital contribution and, consequently, a lower TFP contribution. Over long periods of time, the different TFP estimates are relatively similar. Over shorter periods, the different methodologies generate more significant variations in the TFP contribution.