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Geoffrey Minne

  • Jeudi 16/11/2023

    The labour market is closely tied to the business cycle, and recessions generally lead to a decrease in labour demand. However, even though recessions have common markers, they have their own characteristics, and the impact on employment varies depending on factors such as the amplitude or the duration of the business cycle, or the cause and the origin of a recession. Temporality is also a specific aspect: there is a time lag between some labour market indicators and the business cycle, and some negative shocks can affect the labour market even after the recovery period. The COVID-19 pandemic has temporarily caused a significant drop in Belgian GDP, but employment has been resilient in the initial phase of the recession and has grown strongly afterward. It is important to note, however, that labour market reactions are often delayed, the economic context remains uncertain, and qualitative changes have emerged during this period.

  • Jeudi 5/11/2020
    Peter Reusens, Geoffrey Minne

    Seven months after it was launched, the ERMG survey continues to take the pulse of the Belgian companies by measuring the impact of the COVID-19 crisis on their economic activity and their financial health. After a partial rebound between May and August, the Belgian companies’ (self-reported) turnover stalled in September and October at -14 % below normal levels. Moving forward, the COVID-19 crisis will most likely leave scars on the economy as expectations about next year’s revenue, investment plans, employment and risk of bankruptcy remain gloomy. In addition, the recent further worsening of the health situation and the new restrictive measures including the second lockdown of November 2020 are not yet reflected in the latest survey dating from October 20. These recent developments will undoubtedly worsen the already bleak economic outlook. Finally, the crisis will also have a lasting impact on the way employees will work: with wider use of telework, more flexible working hours and less business travel.

  • Mercredi 6/5/2020
    Geoffrey Minne, Peter Reusens

    The current health crisis and subsequent lockdown measures have provoked a sizable shock for Belgian private companies. A new weekly survey targeting Belgian private companies was launched for the Economic Risk Management Group (ERMG) to gauge the impact of the coronavirus crisis on the Belgian economy. After conducting four waves of the survey, we estimate the average turnover reduction for the entire economy at 33% compared to the pre-crisis situation. The bars, hotels and restaurants industry and the arts, entertainment and leisure industry report a much larger negative impact and one out of five respondents active in these sectors says bankruptcy is probable or highly probable.