Belgium country Focus 2017
Belgian economic growth should amount to 1.6 % both in 2017 and 2018
European economic activity has so far proved to be more robust than expected in the wake of the Brexit referendum. After a decrease of the real GDP Growth in 2016 from 1,5 to 1,3%, the growth forecasts for the Belgian economy in 2017 have hence been revised upwards to 1.6 %. The same growth rate is expected in 2018. In both years, private consumption and business investment in particular should support economic growth.
Real GDP Growth (year-on-year, %change)
Net employment should rise by 105 000 people over these two years, while inflation should cool down in 2018. Net exports should contribute positively to Belgium’s economic performance. As Belgium is an export-driven economy, Belgian export growth in 2017 and 2018 should be backed by the positive development in domestic costs, which is a consequence of the government measures aimed at limiting labour costs. The rise in export volume in 2016 and 2017 is 6.0 % and 4.8 % respectively. Export growth in 2018 should amount to 4.0 %, in line with expected growth in Belgian foreign export markets.
Belgian corporate insolvencies recorded yearly decreases in the years 2014-2016 after major increases in the wake of the 2008 credit crisis. In 2017 business failures are expected to level off only after a 6% decrease in 2016. With about 9,150 cases forecast this year, the number of insolvencies will still be higher than the levels seen before the start of the global credit crisis in 2008 (about 7,700 cases in 2007).
Belgian business insolvencies
A big thank-you to Jean Guinée from Vanbreda Credinco for this economic overview on Belgium.