Belgium: Economic growth rises slightly in Q1
June 1, 2015
In the first quarter of 2015, GDP increased a seasonally-adjusted 0.3% over the previous quarter, according to more complete data released by the National Bank of Belgium on 1 June. Q1’s result matched the 0.3% rise reported in the preliminary release and marked an improvement from the 0.2% expansion tallied in Q4 2014. Compared to the same quarter last year, GDP grew 1.0% in Q1, which was above the 0.9% increase reported in the preliminary release (Q4: +1.0% year-on-year).
The result came on the back of strengthening domestic demand, while the external sector deteriorated. Private consumption grew 0.7% over the previous quarter, which was up from the 0.5% expansion tallied in Q4. Fixed investment contracted 0.6%, which was a notable improvement from the 5.4% decrease in Q4. Conversely, government spending swung from a 0.4% expansion in Q4 to a 0.1% contraction in Q1.
On the external side, exports of goods and services rose 0.5% in Q1, which significantly contrasted the 2.8% contraction recorded in Q4. Meanwhile, imports expanded 0.3% (Q4: -4.1% quarter-on-quarter). Consequently, the net contribution from the external sector to overall economic growth deteriorated from plus 1.2 percentage points in the fourth quarter to plus 0.2 percentage points in the first quarter.