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Belgium Economic Snapshot

Economic Forecast Summary (May 2021)

After the severe contraction in 2020, GDP is projected to expand by 4.7% in 2021 and 3.5% in 2022. As the vaccination campaign accelerates, uncertainties about the epidemic situation are expected to recede. Along with improved global economic prospects, business investment is set to be unleashed and pent-up demand is expected to boost household consumption. The recovery should gather pace, with GDP surpassing the pre-crisis level towards mid-2022.

Reform Priorities (April 2021)

Going for Growth 2021 - Belgium

Improving business dynamism will be key to revive productivity growth and job creation in recovery. Reforms are hence needed to lower barriers to entry but also smooth the restructuring of firms and exit of non-viable ones. A more flexible labour market and activation policies will ensure the conditions for productive firms to grow and increase inclusiveness.

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2021 Structural Reform Priorities

  • Competition and regulation: Streamline regulations that hamper business dynamism and productivity growth
  • Competition and regulation: Make the insolvency regime more conducive to reallocation of resources and productivity growth
  • Labour market: Strengthen active labour market policies and training to reduce job-skill mismatch
  • Labour market: Make wage setting more flexible
  • Tax system: Reduce labour taxes to support employment

 

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Economic Survey of Belgium (February 2020)

The latest OECD Economic Survey of Belgium notes that robust job creation, albeit mostly in low-wage industries, has led to the unemployment rate falling to a historic low. Economic growth has been steady, but remains below average euro area levels, and productivity growth has stagnated. Future reforms should seek to lower employment barriers to disadvantaged groups, help innovative businesses to thrive, and further ease pressures on public finances.

Executive Summary

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