Belgian budget deficit projected to reach 4.7 percent in 2025 by the European Commission

The year 2024 will see Belgium face a budget deficit of 4.4 percent, despite the phasing out of energy crisis support measures, according to the Commission. This is due to structurally increasing current expenditure, particularly for pensions and higher interest rates on the national debt. The deficit is projected to increase to 4.7 percent in 2025 if policies remain unchanged, largely due to pension costs and interest expenses.

Belgium’s debt ratio was at 105.2 percent at the end of last year and is expected to decrease slightly to 105.0 percent this year. However, the rising budget deficit poses a threat of increasing the debt to 106.7 percent in 2025, which exceeds the Maastricht standards set by the EU that mandate a deficit limit of 3 percent of GDP and a debt ratio limit of 60 percent.

The Commission will release a report on June 19 focusing on countries like Belgium that violated the three percent standard in 2023. New fiscal rules will enforce stricter measures, and Member States must present budget plans by September 20, focusing on priority reforms and investments. Commissioner for Economy and Finance Paolo Gentiloni highlighted the need for budget rules to be respected with flexibility.

The Commission predicts a growth rate of

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