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Belgium GDP Q1 2022

Belgium: GDP growth records slowest increase since Q4 2020 in Q1

According to a preliminary reading, GDP growth ebbed to 0.3% on a seasonally-adjusted quarter-on-quarter basis in the first quarter, from 0.4% in the fourth quarter of last year. Q1’s reading marked the softest growth since Q4 2020. On an annual basis, economic growth slowed notably to 4.6% in Q1, from the previous quarter’s 5.7% growth. Q1’s reading marked the softest expansion since Q1 2021.

The deterioration in growth came chiefly on the back of a contraction in the industrial sector. Meanwhile, activity in both the services and construction sectors expanded at healthy paces, somewhat softening the slowdown.

The economy is expected to lose further steam in the coming quarters amid deteriorating external conditions and as the base effect fades. Soaring inflation due to the fallout from the Russia-Ukraine war, coupled with a more volatile business environment and weaker sentiment among households, bodes poorly for domestic demand. Meanwhile, supply chain disruptions threaten the external sector. More positively, the removal of all Covid-19 restrictions should support activity this year.

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