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2013 OECD Economic Surveys: Belgium 2013

image of OECD Economic Surveys: Belgium 2013

OECD's 2013 Economic Survey of Belgium examines recent economic developments, policies and prospects. In addition special chapters cover cost-efficient health and infrastructure policies.

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Assessment and recommendations

The Belgian economy has been resilient throughout the crisis with a smaller increase in unemployment than in many other OECD countries. Nevertheless, the recovery has been weak. The main fiscal challenge is to reduce the high public debt and secure fiscal sustainability. Population ageing is already underway, putting increasing pressure on public finances. Restraining spending will therefore mean, among other things, curbing health care cost increases while allowing the health care system to adjust to changes in demand from an older population, as discussed in . Changes in living and commuting patterns may lead to more inter-regional commuting (Bisciari and van Meensel, 2012). assesses whether the existing transportation infrastructure is prepared for this challenge, and for the broader challenge of handling the international flow of goods and services that underpins Belgium’s place as a hub for international trade.

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