Belgium GDP


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.

The Federal Planning Bureau (FPB) expects the economy to increase 1.1% in 2014. For 2015, the FPB sees economic growth picking up to 1.5%. FocusEconomics Consensus Forecast panelists expect the economy to expand 1.3% in 2014, which is unchanged over the previous month’s Consensus. For 2015, the panel expects economic growth to pick up to 1.6%, which is also unchanged from last month’s projection.

Author:, Economist

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Belgium GDP Chart

Belgium GDP Q3 2014 1

Note: Quarter-on-quarter changes of seasonally-adjusted GDP in %.
Source: National Bank of Belgium (NBB) and FocusEconomics Consensus Forecast.

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