The European Commission on Thursday predicted sharp increases in Belgium’s public deficit in the next three years, assuming that the political situation remains unchanged.
The Commission expects the deficit to amount to 1.7% this year, 2.3% in 2020 and 2.6% in 2021.
By spring of 2019, when the federal government had already been in business for four months, the Commission had set the deficit at 1.3% of Gross Domestic Product (GDP), up from 0.7% in 2018.
As such, Belgium’s deficit is on the increase at a time when the eurozone average is relatively stable at 0.7% in 2019. The zone’s projected deficit for next year is 0.8% while that of the year after is 1%.
These forecasts are based on a prolongation of the current political situation.
Where the 2021 forecast is concerned, only Italy (2.7%) and Rumania (6.1%) are expected to fare worse, while for this year France (3.1%) and Romania (3.6%) will exceed 3%.
Meanwhile, Belgium’s economic growth will be particularly stable, but also weak: 1.1% this year, and 1% in 2020 and 2021. Over the past three years it was 1.5%, 2% and 1.5%.
The Brussels Times