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Bosses worried: Belgium’s wage handicap will widen further

  • Post category:Economy News
  • Reading time:2 mins read

New forecasts from the Central Economic Council (CCE), which Echo was able to read, suggest that between 2020 and 2024, Belgian wages could have increased by 4.6% more than in neighboring countries.

At the beginning of September, the CCE had reported for the year 2022 an increase in the wage gap of around 1.9% between Belgium, where automatic wage indexation is required, and its three main neighbors Germany, the Netherlands and France.

But this summer, we moved away from the scenario of a decline in inflation predicted by some. Consequently, the CCE was asked to update its estimates as regularly as possible. According to its latest forecasts, the Planning Office now expects consumer prices to increase by 9.4% in 2022 and 6.5% in 2023.

Integrating these new parameters, the CCE established new calculations. Thus, in 2023, the hourly cost of labor in Belgium would increase by 3.1% compared to 1.3% in neighboring countries. And still 1.3% against 0.4% in 2024.

In total, over the period 2020-2024, calculates the CCE, Belgium’s wage handicap could therefore increase by 4.6%. These figures may still change, depending on the economic context, but also on current or future wage negotiations in neighboring countries. But it is an understatement to say that they worry Belgian business leaders.