Belgium: Economy continues to lose pace in Q2
Detailed national accounts data released on 30 August confirmed that the economy grew a seasonally-adjusted 0.2% over the previous quarter in the second quarter. This marked a slightly weaker expansion than the first quarter’s 0.3% upturn. Growth, in annual terms, also dipped, inching down to 1.2% from 1.3% in Q1.
A less positive contribution by net exports was chiefly behind Q2’s moderation. The Eurozone’s broad-based slowdown weighed on export growth in the quarter, which decelerated from 0.8% in Q1 to 0.3%, while the rise in imports softened to 0.1% (Q1: +0.4% quarter-on-quarter s.a.). All in all, the external sector contributed 0.2 percentage points to the overall expansion, down from a 0.3 percentage-point contribution in the first quarter.
Meanwhile, domestic demand remained steady in the second quarter (Q2: +0.3% qoq s.a.; Q1: +0.3% qoq s.a.). On the one hand, fixed investment rebounded on greater capital spending by businesses (Q2: +0.5% qoq s.a.; Q1: -0.2% qoq s.a.), while on the other hand, government expenditure rose at a softer rate (Q2: +0.2% qoq s.a.; Q1: +0.9% qoq s.a.). Meanwhile, private consumption was up 0.3% in the quarter, maintaining a stable pace of expansion from the first quarter.