Belgium: Economy continues to tick over in Q1
April 28, 2017
According to preliminary data released by the Bank of Belgium (NBB), the Belgian economy maintained its moderate pace of growth in the first quarter of the year, expanding 0.5% quarter-on-quarter (qoq). The figure is above Q4’s revised 0.4% (previously reported: 0.5% qoq) and beat market expectations.
Although a detailed breakdown of the figures isn’t yet available, growth was likely aided by continuing robust fixed investment, as firms enjoy easy access to credit and improving external demand. Private consumption growth is also likely to have picked up, reflected in a rise in retail sales in Q1 following several quarters of contraction, as wage growth finally begins to improve.
On an annual basis, GDP grew 1.5% in Q1, up from Q4’s 1.1%.
Author: Oliver Reynolds, Economist