The International Monetary Fund seems more upbeat about economic prospects in Belgium and the world at large after it confirmed that the country’s economy recorded a zero growth rate for 2012, which is more than they predicted previously. Even though unemployment in the country is set to increase by 0.8% to 8%, it is still much lower than the Eurozone average of 10.9%. The drop of inflation to 2.4% is just above the European average of 2.1%. The IMF has put the growth rate for next year at 0.8%.
For this year, its estimation of global economic growth is set at 3.5%, which is slightly up from its forecast of 3.3% in January. For next year it predicts an increase of 0.1% to 4.1%, but the Washington-based organisation does warn about a volatile global economy. “Increased activity in the United States during the second half of 2011 and improved policy for the Eurozone reduced the risk of a global slowdown,” the IMF agrees. Its latest report indicates a weak recovery in developed countries and solid growth in emerging markets, with the possible increase in the price of oil posing a threat to worldwide growth. Its main reason for concern, however, are the signs of another debt crisis in the Eurozone. The top priority of the organisation is the need of an accelerated growth in industrial countries. The IMF focuses on the Eurozone, where central banks banks should increase their efforts to stimulate growth, it believes.