Belgium Economic News – 2023 Overview

The National Bank of Belgium (NBB) has released its economic indicators for the country, providing a snapshot of the economic situation in Belgium for the year 2023. Here are the key highlights:

1. Real GDP Growth:

  • Belgium’s real GDP is forecasted to grow by 1.1% in 2023. This growth follows a strong performance in 2022 when the GDP increased by 2.0%.
  • The first two quarters of 2023 showed moderate growth, with Q2 seeing a 0.4% increase in GDP.

2. Consumer Prices:

  • Consumer prices, as measured by the Harmonized Index of Consumer Prices (HICP), are expected to rise by 2.7% in 2023, reflecting a steady increase in the cost of living.
  • The underlying trend in inflation, which excludes food and energy prices, is forecasted to be 1.7% for the year.

3. Labor Market:

  • Belgium’s total employment is expected to continue its positive trend in 2023, with a 0.8% increase in the number of people employed.
  • The harmonized unemployment rate is projected to be 5.5% for the year, indicating a stable labor market.

4. General Government Balance:

  • The primary and overall balances of the general government are expected to improve, reflecting prudent fiscal management.
  • Belgium’s consolidated gross debt is projected to remain stable at around 104.7% of GDP.

5. Current Account:

  • Belgium’s current account is expected to show a surplus in 2023, driven by strong exports of goods and services.

6. Business and Consumer Confidence:

  • Business confidence has shown a positive trend in recent months, indicating optimism about future economic conditions.
  • Consumer confidence has also improved, with Belgians feeling more positive about their financial situation.

These economic indicators provide insights into Belgium’s economic performance in 2023 and suggest a cautiously optimistic outlook for the country’s economy.