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Panorama econòmic

Economic indicators

For the latest updates on the key economic responses from governments to address the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, please consult the IMF's policy tracking platform Policy Responses to COVID-19.

Belgium benefits from a strategic geographical position: situated between the UK, Germany and France, Europe’s three main economies. Despite experiencing a historic recession due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Belgian economy has recovered much faster than expected and has already reached its pre-pandemic level: according to the latest estimates by the IMF, GDP grew 5.6% in 2021 thanks to an uptick in private consumption and in investments. The IMF expects real GDP to grow by 3.1% and 1.8% in 2022 and 2023, respectively, also due to a negative contribution of net exports.

The measure taken to mitigate the impact of the COVID-19 crisis (including health measures, various regional schemes to compensate businesses for reduced turnover, and temporary unemployment schemes) led to a budget deficit of around 6.3% in 2021. Despite the expected phasing-out of most pandemic-related measures, public expenditure is projected to decrease only slightly in nominal terms this year and to increase again in 2023. Accordingly, the budget deficit should decrease to 4.4% in 2022, before picking up to 4.6% the following year (IMF). The debt-to-GDP ratio stood at around 113.4% in 2021, and it is expected to decline to 112.9% this year before it increases again to 114% in 2023 due to a persistent government deficit. Higher energy prices and an unprecedented labour cost growth (due to the indexation of wages) led to a headline inflation of 2.4% in 2021. According to the National Bank of Belgium, headline inflation should peak in the first months of 2022 (at close to 8%) and core inflation should peak by mid-2022; but both indexes should fall back to levels that are clearly below 2% by the end of the projection period.

Unemployment increased only slightly in 2021 thanks to the policy measures taken to shelter jobs, as it stood at 6.3% (IMF). The rate is expected to decrease gradually to 6.1% and 5.9% this year and the next, in line with economic growth. The low labour market participation rate remains a major challenge for Belgium in the coming years, with unemployment disproportionately affecting young people, non-European immigrants and the region of Wallonia as a whole.

 
GDP Indicators 201920202021 (e)2022 (e)2023 (e)
GDP (billions USD) 533.31514.92e581.85619.16650.84
GDP (constant prices, annual % change) 1.8-6.3e5.63.11.8
GDP per capita (USD) 46,55544,688e50,41353,45255,939
General government balance (in % of GDP) -2.2-7.4e-6.3-4.4-4.6
General government gross debt (in % of GDP) 98.1114.1e113.4112.9114.0
Inflation rate (%) 1.20.4e2.42.21.9
Unemployment rate (% of the labor force) 5.45.6e6.36.15.9
Current Account (billions USD) 1.86-0.78e-0.08-3.82-4.12
Current account (in % of GDP) 0.3-0.2e-0.0-0.6-0.6

Font: IMF – World Economic Outlook Database, 2016

Note: (e) Estimated data

 
Monetary indicators 20162017201820192020
American Dollar (USD) - Average annual exchange rate for 1 EUR 1.061.131.181.121.14

Font: World Bank, 2015

 

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Actualitzacions: May 2022

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