Belgium city from above

Belgium GDP Q4 2022

Belgium: GDP growth records slowest increase in two years in Q4

GDP growth edged down to 0.1% on a seasonally adjusted quarter-on-quarter basis in the fourth quarter from 0.2% in the third quarter. Q4’s reading marked the worst result since Q4 2020.

On the domestic front, the moderation was driven by a steeper fall in fixed investment of 0.8% in Q4, from the 0.5% decrease in the previous quarter, driven by contracting housing investment amid higher interest rates. In contrast, household spending increased 1.1% in the fourth quarter, which was above the third quarter’s 0.8% expansion, due to higher spending on non-durable goods. Public spending, moreover, accelerated to a 0.9% increase in Q4 (Q3: +0.2% s.a. qoq).

On the external front, exports of goods and services worsened, contracting 0.7% in Q4 (Q3: +1.4% s.a. qoq). Imports of goods and services also deteriorated, contracting 0.7% in Q4 (Q3: +1.6% s.a. qoq), marking the worst reading since Q2 2020.

On an annual basis, economic growth cooled to 1.4% in Q4, following the previous quarter’s 1.9% figure. Q4’s reading marked the softest expansion since Q1 2021.

Looking ahead, quarter-on-quarter economic growth is expected to remain subdued in H1 2023 but avoid a contraction. Still-above-target inflation and an ailing industrial sector should drag on growth. Nevertheless, from H2 onwards, lower price pressures—notably in the gas-dependent industrial sector—and stronger expected global demand should spur both private consumption and export growth.

Economists at the EIU commented:

“The outlook is now more positive than six months ago, with the economy having avoided a recession over the 2022/23 winter. However, we still expect a sharp slowdown in full-year 2023. […] Still-high inflation will weigh on consumer confidence and erode purchasing power, although automatic wage indexation will partly mitigate the loss of spending.”

FocusEconomics analysts see the economy expanding 0.1% in 2023, which is down 0.4 percentage points from last month’s forecast, and 1.8% in 2024.

Free sample report

Access essential information in the shortest time possible. FocusEconomics provide hundreds of consensus forecast reports from the most reputable economic research authorities in the world.
Close Left Media Arrows Left Media Circles Right Media Arrows Right Media Circles Arrow Quote Wave Address Email Telephone Man in front of screen with line chart Document with bar chart and magnifying glass Application window with bar chart Target with arrow Line Chart Stopwatch Globe with arrows Document with bar chart in front of screen Bar chart with magnifying glass and dollar sign Lightbulb Document with bookmark Laptop with download icon Calendar Icon Nav Menu Arrow Arrow Right Long Icon Arrow Right Icon Chevron Right Icon Chevron Left Icon Briefcase Icon Linkedin In Icon Full Linkedin Icon Filter Facebook Linkedin Twitter Pinterest