In 2020, the Belgian government debt as a share of GDP jumped from 98.7 percent to over 120 percent. Nonetheless, according to forecasts, the Belgian economy is expected to slowly recover. Although the government balance as a share of GDP is still expected to decrease in 2021, the forecast is less drastic. Indeed, an estimated 5.7 percent decrease is predicted. On the other hand, the GDP per capita is expected to increase by 0.9 percent, and the government debt as a share of GDP is expected to decrease by four percent.
In 2020, employment in Belgium should decline by 0.6 percent and is expected to further decrease by 1.7 percent in 2021. From 2019 to 2021, over a hundred thousand jobs will be lost in Belgium. In 2021, the unemployment rate in the Brussels-Capital region is expected to reach 16.5 percent, while unemployment in Flanders should reach 9 percent. In addition, the unemployment rate in Wallonia is expected to be 15 percent. However, employment is expected to decrease equally across the three regions.
As Belgian lockdown measures were implemented, the consumer confidence indicator dropped significantly. In April 2020, the consumer confidence indicator was -26. The consumer price index, on the other hand, has been on the rise since May 2020. Ultimately, the exact consequences of the coronavirus outbreak for the Belgian economy are yet to be evaluated. Still, predictions lean towards a slow, but ongoing recovery in the following years.