Sunday, January 16

Brussels region – Less vigorous recovery, but limited breakdown in terms of employment

(Belga) Over the first half of 2021 as a whole, the analysis of sectoral turnover reveals an unequivocal finding: for most sectors, there is an economic recovery but this recovery is less vigorous in the Brussels Region than ‘nationally, according to the latest economic barometer published by the Brussels Institute for Statistics and Analysis (BISA).

According to this document, at the start of 2021, the Brussels economy had not yet recovered from the recession observed in 2020, the tightening of health measures linked to the third wave of contamination having weighed on its growth. From the second quarter of 2021, the gradual relaxation of health measures and the deployment of vaccination have given new impetus to the resumption of activities of Brussels companies. But over the whole of the first semester, we can see that the development of production services activity (administrative and support services, transport and warehousing, wholesale trade, etc.), which generates 33 % of Brussels added value, testifies to the slower recovery in the Brussels Region. Still according to the IBSA, thanks to the support measures put in place by the public authorities, the impact of the Covid-19 crisis on employment and on the development of unemployed job seekers in Brussels remains relatively limited. In total, in the second quarter of 2021, the number of employees in Brussels was 1.7% higher than its level at the same period in 2019. However, the number of working hours provided was still 3.7% lower compared to during the same period in 2019. In addition, the number of unemployed job seekers increased slightly at the start of 2021 and then decreased in the third quarter of 2021, compared to the levels observed in 2020. Finally, temporary unemployment and bridging rights for Brussels residents and Brussels residents continued to decline in line with the gradual relaxation of health measures. In addition, Brussels firms continued to invest more in the first half of 2021, “which suggests a positive outlook for their future activities and demand. Especially since in the third quarter of 2021, consumers and businesses were more optimistic than before the crisis “. The IBSA maintains that the economic recovery should continue in the coming months, but could be slowed down given the current health situation. Brussels’ economic activity could thus be slowed down by the maintenance of health measures, or even their tightening, hampering the return of commuters and tourists to the Brussels Region; domestic demand, weakened by the duration of the crisis as evidenced by the lack of steam in consumer confidence and major purchases since summer 2021; supply disruptions, reported by companies, related to supply shortages; the rise in the cost of inputs to production and recruitment difficulties in certain sectors. (Belga)

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