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Planning office predicts higher economic growth in 2018

The Planning Office predicts higher economic growth in Belgium in 2018, according to its latest analysis, published on Thursday. Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth, which was 1.7% in 2017, is expected to increase to 1.8% in 2018. Jobs are scheduled to continue their upward trend – growing by 1.2%, even if the increase will be less than the 1.4% registered in 2017 – in a context of rising salaries. Unemployment is expected to keep going down – by 35,000 units – this year.

The increased growth will be due mainly to higher domestic demand, the Planning Office says.

Economic growth in Belgium is still lower than in the euro zone as a whole, even if the gap is expected to narrow in 2018. Economic growth in the euro zone was 2.5% in 2017 and will be 2.2% in 2018.

Inflation will slow down slightly in Belgium this year, going from 2.1% in 2017 to 1.7%, due to the appreciation of the euro and lower electricity prices in Flanders.

The Brussels Times