Belgium: GDP grows at softest quarterly pace since Q4 2020 in Q4 2022
According to a preliminary reading, GDP growth slowed to 0.1% on a seasonally adjusted quarter-on-quarter basis in the final quarter from 0.2% in the third quarter. Q4’s reading marked the slowest expansion since Q4 2020. The quarterly slowdown was primarily driven by a 1.0% contraction in the industrial sector. That said, output in services remained stable and expanded at 0.3%, while construction activity accelerated to 0.8%.
On an annual basis, economic growth lost steam, cooling to 1.4% in Q4, following the previous period’s 1.9% increase. Q4’s reading marked the worst reading since Q1 2021.
Looking ahead, quarter-on-quarter economic growth is expected to remain subdued in H1 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 stable unemployment rate are likely to spur both private consumption and investment.
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.