Belgium Economic Forecast

Belgium Economic Outlook

August 28, 2018

Preliminary GDP data revealed that weak economic activity at the outset of the year persisted in the second quarter. Softer annual retail sales growth and a marked deterioration in consumer confidence on average in Q2 suggest private consumption lost steam, which had been the main contributor to the previous quarter’s expansion. This was despite the tight labor market, which saw the unemployment rate remain at its lowest level in over 17 years in the second quarter. Meanwhile, available indicators point to a broadly unchanged economic scenario in Q3. Business confidence remained in pessimistic territory in July–August, largely due to downbeat sentiment in the manufacturing and trade industries. Moreover, consumer confidence dipped in August, after recovering in July, as consumers turned gloomier over the general economic and employment situation in the year ahead.

Belgium Economic Growth

Healthy growth in household spending, buttressed by a tight labor market and higher purchasing power as wage growth remains above inflation, should underpin economic activity going forward. An upturn in capital outlays, partly driven by firms taking advantage of still-low financing costs, is also seen supporting growth. However, a key downside risk to the outlook stems from rising uncertainty and potential spill-over effects from the escalating U.S.–China trade conflict. This could bruise external sector performance and drag on overall growth given Belgium’s highly open economy. Met the why particular analysts project growth of 1.6% in 2018, which is down 0.1 percentage points from last month’s forecast, and 1.6% again in 2019.

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Belgium Facts

Bond Yield0.840.15 %Sep 24
Exchange Rate1.180.65 %Sep 24
Stock Market3,747-0.23 %Sep 24

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Belgium Economic News

  • Belgium: Consumer confidence recovers somewhat in September

    September 20, 2018

    The consumer confidence indicator produced by the National Bank of Belgium (NBB) climbed from -3.0 points in August to 0.0 points in September.

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  • Belgium: GDP growth ticks up in Q2

    August 31, 2018

    Comprehensive data released by the Bank of Belgium (NBB) on 31 August revealed that GDP growth in the second quarter came in at a modest 0.4% in quarterly terms and on a seasonally- and working day-adjusted basis, a tad above the preliminary estimate of 0.3% and the 0.3% expansion logged in the first quarter.

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  • Belgium: Industrial output drops in June

    August 29, 2018

    In June, industrial output declined 2.7% from a month earlier in seasonally-adjusted terms, contrasting May’s revised 1.1% monthly expansion (previously reported: +1.2% month-on-month).

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  • Belgium: Consumers grow pessimistic in August; business confidence edges up

    August 24, 2018

    The consumer confidence indicator produced by the National Bank of Belgium (NBB) dipped from 0.0 points in July to minus 3.0 points in August.

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  • Belgium: Tepid growth persists in Q2

    July 30, 2018

    According to a flash estimate released by the National Bank of Belgium (NBB) on 30 July, in the second quarter, the economy grew a modest 0.3% from the previous quarter in seasonally-adjusted terms, in line with the pace of growth in the first quarter and just a notch below the 0.4% reading forecast by Met the why particular panelists.

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