Belgium

Raise labour participation

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Economic growth is expected to ease somewhat in 2005 but strengthen to 2.75% in 2006 as export markets remain buoyant and business investment picks up. The unemployment rate should fall to 7.25% by 2006, with the underlying inflation rate remaining at around 1.75% as the unfavourable effects of the increase in energy prices fade, but the economy moves from below to above-potential growth.
If the euro proved to be stronger than assumed, growth and inflation would be lower.Further efforts are needed to ensure that the budget remains balanced. Measures should focus on expenditure restraint, as planned, since the high tax burden on labour discourages work effort. Further reforms are also needed to reduce incentives for early retirement and raise the participation rate.
Population (000s), 200310 372
Area (000 sq km)31
CurrencyEuro
GDP (Billion USD), 2003301 .9
Life expectancy at birth (Women, Men), 2002 81.1, 75.1
Total labour force (000s), 20034 531
Government typeConstitutional Monarchy
Indicators% change unless otherwise indicated
200420052006
GDP growth2.72.42.7
Household savings ratio13.813.413.9
Consumer price index1.92.21.9
Short-term interest rate (%)2.12.12.7
Unemployment rate (%)7.77.67.3
General government financial balance (% GDP)-0.1-0.4-0.5
Current account balance (% GDP)3.73.14.0
Source: OECD© OECD Observer No 245, November 2004


Economic data

GDP growth: +0.6% Q1 2019 year-on-year
Consumer price inflation: 2.3% May 2019 annual
Trade: +0.4% exp, -1.2% imp, Q1 2019
Unemployment: 5.2% July 2019
Last update: 9 September 2019

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