Although economic growth in Belgium has been gradually slowing down, the unemployment rate should drop continuously in the country’s three regions in the next few years, according to the “Regional Economic Prospects 2018-2023” report. The report was compiled by the Federal Planning Office, l’Institut bruxellois de statistique et d’analyse (IBSA – Brussels Institute of Statistics and Analysis), l’Institut wallon de l’évaluation, de la prospective et de la statistique (IWEPS – Walloon Institute of Assessment, Prospects and Statistics) and Statistiek Vlanderen (Flanders Statistics).
It forecasts net creation of some 313,000 jobs between 2017 and 2023, and annual growth in gross domestic product (GDP) of 1.6% between 2018 and 2020, as against 1.7% in 2017.
Average annual GDP growth per region is projected to be as follows in 2018-2020: 1.7% in Flanders (1.9% in 2017); 1,5% in Wallonia (1.7% in 2017) and 1.3% in the Brussels-Capital Region (1.2% in 2017).
From 2021, GDP growth will be gradually slower, dropping to 1.2% in 2023. This slowdown will also be reflected in each region: 0.9% in Brussels, 1.3% in Flanders, and 1.1% in Wallonia in 2023.
Despite the slower growth, unemployment will continue to shrink in all three regions. Between 2017 and 2023, it will drop from 17.5% to 12.4% in Brussels, from 7.2% to 4.4% in Flanders and from 14.1% to 10.6% in Wallonia.
Net job creation in 2017-2023 will amount to 200,000 units in Flanders, 81,000 units in Wallonia and 32,000 units in Brussels.