Belgium Economic Forecast

Belgium Economic Outlook

June 26, 2018

Comprehensive first-quarter data confirmed the economy’s slow start this year, although resilient domestic demand metrics in the quarter were encouraging. Household spending ticked up amid a tight labor market, but strong consumer confidence was constrained by the outsize effect of higher oil prices. Moreover, fixed investment remained buoyant on cheap borrowing costs. As expected, mounting concerns over global trade hit the external sector, which posted weak readings on lukewarm economic data across much of Europe. Meanwhile, available data for the second quarter hints at some deterioration in private sector conditions; consumer confidence fell back into pessimistic territory in June as inflation jumped on climbing fuel costs. Furthermore, business confidence has been trending lower in recent months and industrial output has been inconsistent, suggesting the current business cycle has begun eating into firms’ gains.

Belgium Economic Growth

Tepid leading data from Europe’s major economies—and Belgium’s largest trading partners—will likely moderate any economic upturn later this year. That said, tight labor market dynamics and accommodative financing conditions are expected to drive stronger full-year household spending and fixed investment, respectively. Heightened geopolitical risks and rising protectionism will hit exports, however, while insufficient fiscal and labor-market reforms are expected to constrain growth over the medium term. FocusEconomics analysts expect growth of 1.7% in 2018, unchanged from last month’s forecast, and 1.6% in 2019.

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Belgium Facts

Bond Yield0.640.15 %Jul 17
Exchange Rate1.170.65 %Jul 17
Stock Market3,818-0.23 %Jul 17

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