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Belgium GDP Q1 2023

Belgium: GDP growth accelerates in Q1 2023

According to a preliminary reading, GDP growth increased to 0.4% on a seasonally adjusted quarter-on-quarter basis in the first quarter of 2023 from 0.1% in Q4 2022. Q1’s reading marked the quickest expansion since Q2 2022. The quarterly acceleration was primarily driven by larger expansions in services and construction activity; they grew by 0.7% and 0.4%, respectively. That said, output in industry contracted by 0.6%.

On an annual basis, economic growth lost steam, cooling to 1.3% in Q1, following the previous period’s 1.5% increase. Q1’s reading marked the worst reading since Q1 2021, partially due to a fading low base effect.

Looking ahead, quarter-on-quarter economic growth is expected to remain subdued in 2023. Still-high inflation and a faltering industrial sector should drag on growth. Nevertheless, from H2 onwards, lower price pressures—notably in the gas-dependent industrial sector—and a resilient labor market are likely to spur both private consumption and investment.


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