Belgium’s Economic Indicators: August 2023 Overview

GDP Growth Rate: Belgium’s real GDP growth rate for the second quarter of 2023 was 0.8%, showing a moderate expansion compared to the previous quarter. On a year-on-year basis, the GDP growth rate stood at 2.7%.

Consumer Prices and Inflation: In terms of consumer prices, the Harmonised Index of Consumer Prices (HICP) showed an annual increase of 1.7% for August 2023. Energy costs, unprocessed food, and processed food contributed to this inflation.

Labor Market: Belgium’s employment rate for the working-age population (15-64 years) remained steady at 66.8%, while the unemployment rate was 5.4%. Youth unemployment (below 25 years) was higher at 13.8% compared to unemployment among those aged 25 and above, which stood at 5.4%.

Business Confidence: The overall business confidence indicator, which reflects sentiment across manufacturing, building, trade, and business-related services, registered a positive trend. It reached a value of 4.9, indicating a favorable outlook for various sectors of the economy.

Consumer Confidence: Consumer confidence in Belgium improved as the consumer confidence index rose to 7.4 in August 2023. This positive shift suggests increased optimism among consumers regarding the general economic situation, their financial well-being, and savings capacity.

Trade and Investment: Belgium’s total turnover increased by 8.4% compared to the previous year, reflecting growth in economic activity. Investments also demonstrated a positive trend, showing a 6.3% increase year-on-year.

Government Debt and Balance: Belgium’s consolidated gross debt as a percentage of GDP remained stable at 106.1%. The overall balance for the government’s finances improved slightly, with a deficit of 2.4% of GDP.

Economic Outlook: Belgium’s economic forecast for the upcoming years remains positive, with growth expected to continue. These forecasts are consistent with estimates from various institutional sources, including the National Bank of Belgium and international organizations.