© ROBIN UTRECHT
The Federal Planning Bureau notes that the Belgian economy is slowing down, but expects that a recession can be avoided this year. The Planning Bureau now assumes economic growth of 1 percent this year. In 2022, there was still a growth of 3.1 percent.
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Annual inflation would halve: from 9.6 percent in 2022 to an average of 4.5 percent this year. This is due to falling electricity and natural gas prices. The Planning Bureau expects the pivot index to be exceeded only once this year: in August.
The purchasing power (real disposable income, ed.) of households fell by 1.6 percent last year, as a result of high inflation and delayed wage indexation for many employees. This year, the Planning Bureau expects real disposable income to recover by 4.2 percent.
But while 100,000 jobs were created last year, that growth would be limited to 38,000 this year, says the Planning Bureau. The employment rate would therefore rise only slightly, by 0.3 percentage point to 72.3 percent.