Belgium Economic Forecast

Belgium Economic Outlook

September 25, 2018

Recently-released GDP data revealed that the economy grew at a modest quarter-on-quarter pace in Q2, only a notch above Q1’s reading and in line with the Eurozone average. Although private spending growth lost significant speed from the previous quarter, the shortfall was more than offset by healthy gains in fixed investment and net exports. Meanwhile, available data points to a continuation of relatively subdued dynamics in Q3. Although the labor market remains tight, the unemployment rate edged back up in July after remaining at its lowest level in over 17 years in Q2. In addition, increased inflationary pressures in July–August likely squeezed real household disposable incomes, which, coupled with downbeat consumer confidence in the quarter, suggest rather soft private consumption gains in Q3.

Belgium Economic Growth

Economic growth is expected to remain broadly stable this year and next, underpinned by resilient household spending which should continue to be supported by steady employment growth and modest wage gains. The strong labor market and still-low interest rates are also seen facilitating healthy private investment activity. However, heightened uncertainty and potential spill-over impact from the trade war between the U.S. and China could dampen investment intentions or dent external sector performance, given the highly open nature of the economy. FocusEconomics analysts project growth of 1.5% in 2018 and 1.6% in 2019, which is unchanged from last month’s forecast.

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Belgium Facts

Bond Yield0.890.15 %Oct 12
Exchange Rate1.160.65 %Oct 12
Stock Market3,505-0.23 %Oct 12

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