Belgian real wages to drop by 2% this year

Belgian real wages to drop by 2% this year
Credit: Belga.

Just as last year, the real wage of workers in Belgium will fall by 2% in 2022, according to a recent study on the economic after-effects of the war in Ukraine.

On Wednesday, French-speaking newspaper La Libre reported that a recent study by the National Bank of Belgium (BNB), the Planning Bureau and the FPS Economy showed the real wage – income based on what one can purchase with their salary rather than the monetary amount received – of Belgians once again dropping.

This news may come as a surprise to some due to the existence of annual wage indexations in Belgium, but "for more than one in three workers (37.6%) this indexation only occurs once a year," the study explained.

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Furthermore, even if households' purchasing power has been protected by a recent increase in working hours, Belgian families are still "faced with major uncertainties," according to the BNB.

This is in part due to the Russian invasion of Ukraine and subsequent war leading Belgians to reduce their consumption habits, with the national consumer confidence index falling below its historical average.

However, according to La Libre, the study suggested a more favourable forecast for 2023, with the BNB anticipating real wages to rise by 3%, as delayed indexations will come into effect for various groups of workers.

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