Belgium GDP Q3 2016


Belgium: Economic growth decelerates in Q3

November 30, 2016

In the third quarter of 2016, Belgian GDP increased a seasonally-adjusted 0.2% from the previous quarter, according to comprehensive data released by the National Bank of Belgium (NBB) on 30 November. Q3’s reading matched the preliminary estimate reported on 28 October and represents a deceleration from the 0.5% expansion in Q2. Compared to the same quarter of the previous year, GDP growth was 1.3% in Q3, which is slightly lower than Q2’s result but higher than the previously estimated 1.2%.

Q3’s deceleration reflects weak domestic demand. The performance of fixed investment considerably worsened compared to Q2’s 1.5% growth as it stayed flat in Q3. Private consumption growth stayed at Q2’s 0.4% in the third quarter, while government consumption decreased 0.1% over the previous quarter, a small improvement compared to Q2’s 0.2% drop.

On the external side, exports of goods and services decelerated from a 0.9% expansion in Q2 to a 0.3% increase in Q3. Imports also decelerated, from 0.6% increase in Q2 to a flat reading in the third quarter. As a result, the net contribution from the external sector to overall economic growth improved from to a revised 0.2 percentage points increase in Q2 (previously reported: -0.2% qoq) to 0.3 percentage points in Q3.

The National Bank of Belgium expects the economy to increase 1.3% in 2016 and 1.5% in 2017. FocusEconomics Consensus Forecast panelists expect the economy to expand 1.3% in 2016, which is unchanged from the previous month’s Consensus. For 2017, the panel also expects economic growth of 1.3%, which is also unchanged from last month’s forecast.

Author:, Economist

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