An economic recession has become “inevitable” in Flanders according to 600 Flemish companies questioned by Voka, the Flemish employers' organisation.
On Friday, Voka published a survey on company expectations and fears for the current economic state, with two main findings standing out:
Firstly, companies are expecting a 5% drop in economic activity in the next quarter, followed by a similar decrease in 2023.
Secondly, one in four companies fears they will have to reduce the number of their employees over the next six months; more than half (54%) of respondents in the industrial sector expect to resort to temporary unemployment.
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As a result, “the Flemish economy is heading towards a recession this winter”, asserted Hans Maertens, Voka's managing director.
“The energy shock impoverishes us as a society. Companies are doing everything they can to avoid the crisis but energy costs and wages must be controlled to avoid the worst.”
On the bright side, issues relating to deliveries which had persisted since the post-Covid economic recovery, have continued to decrease.