Belgium: Economic growth improves in Q3
December 15, 2014
In the third quarter, GDP increased a seasonally-adjusted 0.3% over the previous quarter, according to more complete data released by the National Bank of Belgium on 28 November. Q3’s result was slightly up from the 0.2% rise reported in the preliminary release and marked an improvement from the 0.1% expansion tallied in Q2. Compared to the same quarter last year, GDP grew 0.9% in Q3 (Q2: +1.0% year-on-year).
Overall economic growth was supported by solid domestic demand. Private consumption grew 0.7% over the previous quarter, which was up from the 0.2% expansion in Q2. Fixed investment accelerated from 1.1% in Q2 to 2.4% in Q3. Conversely, government spending deteriorated from a flat reading in Q2 to a 0.2% drop in Q3, which marked the lowest level on record.
On the external side, exports of goods and services expanded 0.8% in Q3, which was notably below the 2.5% tallied in Q2. Meanwhile, imports growth halved from 2.8% in Q2 to 1.4% in Q3. Consequently, the net contribution from the external sector to overall economic growth deteriorated from minus 0.3 percentage points in the second quarter to minus 0.5 percentage points in the third quarter.
Author: Cecilia Simkievich, Economist