Belgium: Growth surprises to the upside in Q3
October 30, 2019
The economy grew 0.4% quarter-on-quarter in seasonally-adjusted terms in the third quarter, according to a first estimate released by the National Bank of Belgium (NBB) on 30 October, up from the upwardly revised 0.3% qoq s.a. expansion recorded in the second quarter (previously reported: +0.2% qoq s.a.). The print also overshot analysts’ expectations and marked the quickest expansion this year. On an annual basis, growth inched up to 1.3% from 1.2% in the second quarter.
Commenting on the prospects for the Belgium economy, Philipe Ledent, senior economist at ING, noted:
“The important question is obviously whether this robust growth can be maintained in the coming quarters. We do not think so. First, several confidence indicators declined again in October. Second, given the importance of foreign trade for the Belgian economy, it would be very surprising to maintain dynamic domestic demand in a global economic context marked by subdued trade growth and protectionist tensions. The sharp deterioration in industrial activity is expected to eventually affect other sectors of the economy.”
A comprehensive release for national accounts will be published on 30 November.
Author: Nicolás J. Aguilar, Economist