Economic Indicators for Belgium – August 2023

The National Bank of Belgium (NBB) has released its latest economic indicators for Belgium, providing insights into the country’s economic performance. Here are some of the key highlights from the data:

Real GDP Growth:

  • Belgium’s real GDP growth was 1.8% in the second quarter of 2023, reflecting a strong expansion in economic activity.
  • The growth was driven by positive contributions from various sectors, including manufacturing, services, and construction.


  • Consumer prices in Belgium, as measured by the Harmonized Index of Consumer Prices (HICP), increased by 1.6% compared to the same period last year.
  • Energy prices experienced significant volatility, with a year-on-year increase of 10.2%, driven by fluctuations in global oil prices.
  • Unprocessed food prices also contributed to inflation, rising by 5.4% year-on-year.

Employment and Unemployment:

  • Employment in Belgium continued to improve, with a growth rate of 2.7% year-on-year.
  • The unemployment rate decreased to 5.6%, reflecting a healthier labor market.

Consumer and Business Confidence:

  • Consumer confidence remained steady, with Belgians showing optimism about the general economic situation over the next 12 months.
  • Businesses across various sectors, including manufacturing, building, trade, and services, reported positive expectations about the future economic climate.

Trade and Exports:

  • Belgium’s trade performance remained robust, with exports of goods and services growing by 8.4% compared to the previous year.
  • The manufacturing industry played a significant role in driving exports, with a growth rate of 14.7% in the same period.

Public Finance:

  • Belgium’s general government balance showed a primary surplus, indicating a positive fiscal position.
  • The consolidated gross debt remained stable, reflecting prudent fiscal management.

Outlook and Projections:

  • The NBB forecasts for 2023 and 2024 indicate a continuation of positive economic growth, in line with the estimates from earlier in the year.
  • While there are potential risks and uncertainties in the global economic environment, Belgium’s economy appears to be on a positive trajectory.

It’s important to note that these indicators provide an overview of Belgium’s economic performance and should be interpreted in the context of broader economic trends and global developments. The NBB continues to monitor and analyze economic data to guide policymakers and stakeholders in their decision-making processes.