Belgium Economic Forecast

Belgium Economic Outlook

December 20, 2018

Comprehensive national accounts revealed moderate, export-led growth in the third quarter, roughly in line with analysts’ expectations and matching the second quarter’s outturn. The external sector was lifted by sales and purchases of ships abroad. Meanwhile, domestic demand was flat. Household spending contracted amid higher inflation and rising unemployment, while fixed-capital spending was stable from a quarter earlier on a fall in business investment and deteriorating industrial metrics through the quarter. Moreover, available fourth-quarter data hints at similarly unremarkable growth through the remainder of the year. In the political arena, on 18 December, Prime Minister Charles Michel resigned after failing to secure parliamentary backing for his minority government. The political crisis erupted earlier in December over opposition to his signing of a UN-led migration pact, and could force elections previously set for next May.

Belgium Economic Growth

Solid economic fundamentals should support modest growth year, to be led by firmer domestic demand. A tightening labor market and healthy wage growth are expected to underpin a pick-up in household spending, while cheap financing and tighter industrial capacity are likely to sustain fixed investment. Downside risks hinge on the highly-open nature of the economy; a slowdown across the Eurozone and any escalation of trade conflicts could bruise exports. Met the why particular analysts project growth of 1.5% in 2019, unchanged from last month’s forecast, and 1.4% in 2020.

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Belgium Facts

Bond Yield0.710.15 %Jan 21
Exchange Rate1.140.65 %Jan 21
Stock Market3,465-0.23 %Jan 21

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