Belgian economy seen contracting by 8% in 2020 – study

BRUSSELS, April 8 (Reuters) – The Belgian economy could contract by 8% this year due to measures to confine the coronavirus before a sharp rebound in 2021, the country’s central bank and national planning agency said on Wednesday.

That rebound could be as much as 8.6%, although the bank and agency stressed that their figures should be seen as a broad macroeconomic ‘scenario’ rather than a firm granular forecast and that they were based on a number of conditions, with risks.

The bank and agency also estimated an increase of Belgium’s budget deficit to 7.5% of gross domestic product and its debt to 115% of GDP in 2020. The central bank previously forecast deficit and debt figures of respectively 2% and 99.2%. (Reporting by Philip Blenkinsop)

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