Belgium: Revised data confirm economic deceleration in Q2
September 3, 2014
In the second quarter, GDP increased a seasonally-adjusted 0.1% over the previous quarter, according to more complete data released by the National bank of Belgium on 3 September. Q2’s result matched the increase reported in the preliminary estimate and marked a deceleration over the 0.4% expansion tallied in Q1. In addition, the reading marked the slowest pace of expansion since Q1 2013. Compared to the same quarter last year, GDP decelerated from a 1.2% rise in Q1 to a 1.0% increase in Q2.
Overall economic growth was affected by a deterioration in the external sector. Exports of goods and services expanded 2.6% in Q2, which contrasted the 0.5% decrease registered in Q1. Meanwhile, imports bounced from a 0.7% contraction in Q1 to a 3.2% increase in Q2, which marked the fastest pace of growth in imports since Q3 2009. Consequently, the net contribution from the external sector to overall economic growth deteriorated from plus 0.2 percentage points in the first quarter to minus 0.4 percentage points in the second.
On the domestic front, private consumption grew 0.3% over the previous quarter, which was slightly down from the 0.4% expansion in Q1. Government spending improved from a flat reading in Q1 to a 0.1% rise in Q2. That said, growth in fixed investment picked up from 1.3% in Q1 to 1.9% in Q2.
Author: Ricardo Aceves, Senior Economist