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What sustains labour productivity growth in Belgium? The EUKLEMS database of the Federal Planning Bureau provides an answer to this question.
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.
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 study presents a compact model that allows a stylised, yet dynamic reasoning on the main macrofiscal aggregates that are relevant for setting budgetary paths compatible with the structural budget balance requirements of the preventive arm of the Stability and Growth Pact. Some lessons on the conduct of fiscal policy in a reference framework in structural terms can be learned from the simulations provided for illustrative purposes. These simulations show in particular that – under certain conditions relating to the degree to which the budgetary adjustments have a permanent effect on the economic activity and thus on potential GDP – when the feedback effects of adjustments on the underlying macroeconomic environment are left out of consideration, this can be detrimental to the credibility of the considered structural paths.
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 paper analyses the long-term trend of Belgian economic growth and the more recent evolution of labour productivity including the impact of the crisis. It identifies the causes of declining trend of productivity gains by analysing the structural changes in the economy and by applying the growth accounting methodology on industry-level data. Finally, possible policy actions are detailed which minimise the negative short term impact on aggregate demand while maximising the positive effect on labour productivity growth.
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.
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.
In this Working Paper the impact of potential determinants of total factor productivity, i.e. the part of output that cannot be explained by the quantity of production factors, is estimated for Belgium using industry-level data for the period 1988-2007.
Offshoring is generally believed to be productivity-enhancing and this belief is underpinned by economic theory. This article contributes to the growing literature that tests empirically whether offshoring does indeed help to improve productivity. Estimating the impact of materials and business services offshoring on productivity growth with industry-level data for Belgium over the period 1995-2004, we investigate this issue separately for manufacturing and market services. The results show that there is no productivity effect of materials offshoring, while business services offshoring leads to productivity gains especially in manufacturing. In addition, we look at the possibility of rent spillovers from offshoring. Productivity gains from offshoring in one industry may feed through to other industries that purchase its output for intermediate use if, due to offshoring, the user value exceeds the price of the output. The lack of evidence of such rent spillovers from either materials or business services offshoring in the data leads us to conclude that firms manage to internalise all efficiency gains from offshoring.
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.
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.
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.
In order to improve our understanding of the divergent evolutions that recently emerged between European countries in terms of labour productivity, this paper compares the labour productivity growth of three small open European countries: Austria, Belgium and the Netherlands. The analysis focuses on market services as they are the most important single factor that is responsible for the divergences. The comparison shows that, while Austria and Belgium recorded a decrease in their productivity growth between 1995 and 2004, the Netherlands followed the American pattern and has recorded an increase in their growth rate since 1995. The decomposition of labour productivity growth makes it possible to underline the important role played by total factor productivity (TFP) in the Dutch upsurge in productivity growth. The breakdown of the data by industry shows the importance of the Distribution sector in the Dutch performance. The growth of TFP observed in the Distribution sector is then linked to different potential determinants: ICT accumulation and use, labour qualifications, R&D and innovation and regulations.
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.
The macroeconomic results presented here - as summarised in Table 2 - are based on ICT investment expenditure data that are compatible with the data of the 1995 input-output. As the level of the revised ICT investment expenditure is larger than the ICT investment expenditure used in WP 7-02, the results of the growth accounting exercise point to a somewhat larger contribution of ICT Capital accumulation to growth.
In this paper, the impact of ICT on economic and productivity growth is investigated in the context of the Belgian economy. The analysis is conducted at aggregate and branch level. The impact of ICT on economic growth through productivity gains can be transmitted via three different channels, namely increase in the ICT capital available per worker (capital deepening), technical progress in the ICT producer sectors (TFP growth) and finally, technical progress in the ICT user sectors through spillover effects (TFP growth).