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Home > Country Profiles > Belgium

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Financial Outlook

The Belgian economy grew by an estimated 0.2% in 2013 according to a December 2013 IMF report, which also projected an expansion of 1.1% in 2014. The organization believed that a recovery in export growth, as well as in domestic demand, would drive this modest pickup. However, the IMF warned that growth at these levels would not reduce the unemployment rate, which stood at 8.4% in November 2013. It added that inflation should remain low on the back of declines in energy prices and wage moderation. Belgian inflation accelerated in December 2013 but remained below 1% for the fourth consecutive month. In its 2013 economic survey of Belgium, the OECD said that the country had weathered the global crisis relatively well, particularly in terms of maintaining employment, but that weak domestic demand, rapid fiscal consolidation, and slow export growth would weigh on the economic recovery. It added that this suggested that further structural reforms were necessary. In January 2014 the government announced that it had succeeded in reducing the national debt below 100% of GDP, and said that it aimed to reduce the debt to 60% of GDP within two decades.

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Further reading on Belgium


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