According to the Planning bureau’s unemployment forecasts, the level of unemployment in Belgium will have fallen to 7.4% by the end of the 2019 – 2024 legislature, a level of unemployment that has not been seen since the latter half of the 1970’s. In 2018 unemployment in Belgium stood at 9.5%.
However, it isn’t all good news as without extra measure being taken the budget deficit will rise to 2.3% of GDP (more than 11 billion euro) in 2021. This is in great contrast to the stability programme that Belgium presented to the EU in which a balanced budget was forecast for 2021. The Planning Bureau forecasts that by 2024 the budget deficit will have reached 2.7%.
If the forecast is correct Belgium will fail to meet the European rules on the reduction of the level of national debt. With the national debt remaining stable as a percentage of GDP.
The Planning Bureau predicts that economic growth will remain stable until 2022, after which it will slow down slightly to 1.2% per annum.
If no further measures are taken, growth in disposable income will slow down gradually to 1% per annum.
Levels of job creation will remain buoyant with 206,000 extra jobs in the Belgian economy by 2024.