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    GDP growth of 2% is possible in 2018

    Optimism is firmly anchored in the Belgian economy, the Belgian Federation of Enterprises (FEB) said on Wednesday in its economic focus. For the federation, a GDP growth rate of 2% as of next year is conceivable. The National Bank of Belgium, on the other hand, is expecting 1.6%.

    Almost all signals are positive. Over the last six months, nearly half of the companies represented by the FEB – about 75% of Belgian private employment – saw their activities increase and only 19% saw a decrease. But the most striking thing is that for the first time in six years, all sectors are approaching the next half with optimism. Indeed, according to the FEB, no sector expects its activities to decline in the short term.

    Other positive indicators include the continued increase in investment as well as the increase in job creation.

    To the extent that the external risks linked to the uncertainties regarding the protectionist policies of Donald Trump and the Brexit remain limited, the FEB believes in a 2% increase in GDP in 2018.

    In the meantime, the employers’ federation believes that the Belgian economy will have to meet the two major internal challenges of labour shortages in the labour market and corporate tax reform.

    Sarah Johansson
    The Brussels Times