Belgium: Economy contracts in second quarter
August 1, 2012
In the second quarter, GDP dropped a seasonally adjusted 0.6% over the previous quarter, according to a preliminary flash estimate released by the National Bank of Belgium (NBB) on 1 August. The quarterly drop contrasted the revised 0.2% expansion recorded in the first quarter (initially reported: +0.3% quarter-on-quarter) and exceeded market expectations of a 0.3% decline. In annual terms, GDP declined 0.4% over the second quarter last year, contrasting the revised 0.4% expansion recorded in the first quarter (initially reported: +0.5% year-on-year). Meanwhile, along with the release of quarterly GDP data, the NBB also published revised figures for the 2010-2011 period, which showed that the economy grew 1.8% in 2011, below the previously reported 2.0% expansion. The Federal Planning Bureau expects the economy to expand only 0.1% in 2012. In contrast, the National Bank of Belgium predicts that the economy will contract 0.1% this year.
Author: Ricardo Aceves, Senior Economist