Belgium: Economic growth accelerates in Q2
August 31, 2016
In the second quarter of 2016, GDP increased a seasonally-adjusted 0.5% over the previous quarter, according to comprehensive data released by the National Bank of Belgium (NBB) on 31 August. Q2’s reading matched the print reported in the NBB’s 29 July preliminary estimate and represents an acceleration from the 0.2% expansion in Q1. Compared to the same quarter of the previous year, GDP growth was 1.4% in Q2, which is in line with Q1’s result and the preliminary estimate.
Q2’s reading reflects an improvement in domestic demand. Private consumption growth accelerated from 0.1% in Q1 to 0.3% in Q2. In addition, fixed investment picked up from a 1.3% expansion in Q1 to a 2.0% increase in Q2. On the other hand, government consumption growth slowed slightly to 0.1% (Q1: +0.2% quarter-on-quarter).
On the external side, exports of goods and services rebounded from a 0.9% contraction in Q1 to a 1.5% increase in Q2. Imports also recovered, expanding 1.8% (Q1: -0.8% quarter-on-quarter). As a result, the net contribution from the external sector to overall economic growth declined from minus 0.1 percentage points in the first quarter to minus 0.2 percentage points in the second quarter.
Author: Christopher Mc Innes, Economist