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International Monetary Fund

This Selected Background Issues paper analyzes sectoral wage differentiation and labor cost issues in Belgium. The paper discusses wage dispersion across sectors in Belgium and compares it with the pattern in other European countries. It analyzes the data for the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development used in the Central Economic Council assessment of competitiveness, underscoring the role of social security contributions and restrictions on part-time work in the evolution of labor costs per employee. The paper also examines trends in saving and investment, and the pension reform in Belgium.

International Monetary Fund
Belgium has effected a remarkable fiscal adjustment, best illustrated by the decline in its public debt. While benefiting from an appreciable decline in interest rates, most of the underlying consolidation reflected a considerable increase in the tax burden, one of the highest in the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development. This paper analyzes the social transfer system in Belgium. Belgium has a very accessible and equitable health care system. The system is characterized by high input levels and service volumes.
International Monetary Fund
Long-term issues continue to dominate the economic policy agenda. The economy is expected to grow at a moderate pace. The challenge from aging is becoming more pressing, calling for sustained fiscal consolidation. The elaboration of a medium-term fiscal framework based on expenditure growth ceilings will help underpin the achievement of budget objectives. The focus on job creation has triggered helpful initiatives but further, comprehensive labor market reform is needed to raise employment rates. An acceleration of product market reform will provide an impetus to growth.
International Monetary Fund. European Dept.
This paper discusses two key issues of the Belgian economy: (1) making public expenditure more efficient and (2) addressing the Belgian labor market-segmentations and distortions. Belgium faces fiscal challenges that call for a substantial consolidation over the medium term. The sizable expenditure reduction contemplated by the authorities will be difficult without deeper structural reforms. Reforms that improve the efficiency of public spending can help underpin fiscal adjustment while minimizing the drag on growth and protect social cohesion. The Belgian labor market suffers from rigidities and fragmentation. The design of policies to increase employment rates among these vulnerable labor market segments requires a thorough reflection of symptoms and underlying causes.
International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.
The Web edition of the IMF Survey is updated several times a week, and contains a wealth of articles about topical policy and economic issues in the news. Access the latest IMF research, read interviews, and listen to podcasts given by top IMF economists on important issues in the global economy. www.imf.org/external/pubs/ft/survey/so/home.aspx
International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.
L’édition web du Bulletin du FMI est mise à jour plusieurs fois par semaine et contient de nombreux articles sur des questions de politique générale et de politique économique d'actualité. Accédez aux dernières recherches du FMI, lisez des interviews et écoutez des podcasts proposés par les principaux économistes du FMI sur des questions importantes de l'économie mondiale. www.imf.org/external/pubs/ft/survey/so/home.aspx
International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.
La edición en Internet del Boletín del FMI, que se actualiza varias veces a la semana, contiene numerosos artículos sobre temas de actualidad en el ámbito de las políticas y la economía. Consulte las últimas investigaciones del FMI, lea entrevistas y escuche podcasts de los principales economistas del FMI sobre importantes temas relacionados con la economía mundial. www.imf.org/external/pubs/ft/survey/so/home.aspx
International Monetary Fund. Fiscal Affairs Dept., International Monetary Fund. Strategy, Policy, &, and Review Department
This Supplement presents an account of the extensive consultations and the results of various analyses that supported the development of “A Strategy for IMF Engagement on Social Spending.”