Belgium: GDP growth edges up in Q2
According to a preliminary reading, GDP growth edged up to 1.4% on a seasonally-adjusted quarter-on-quarter basis in the second quarter, from 1.1% in the first quarter. On an annual basis, GDP grew 14.5% in Q2, contrasting the previous period’s 0.5% decrease.
Although detailed data is not yet available, a sectoral breakdown puts services activity as the main driver, adding 1.4 percentage points to overall growth. In addition, industrial production and construction activity contributed 1.1 and 0.5 percentage points, respectively.
Moving forward into Q3, floods devastated the south of the country in July, causing massive property damage. More positively, the government of Wallonia recently pledged a EUR 2.0 billion solidarity fund to support reconstruction work. Moreover, restrictions are relatively loose compared with previous measures, which, combined with upbeat consumer sentiment, should support private consumption ahead.