unbekannter Gast

Belgium: Economy#

This modern, open, and private-enterprise-based economy has capitalized on its central geographic location, highly developed transport network, and diversified industrial and commercial base. Industry is concentrated mainly in the more heavily-populated region of Flanders in the north. With few natural resources, Belgium imports substantial quantities of raw materials and exports a large volume of manufactures, making its economy vulnerable to shifts in foreign demand, particularly with Belgium’s EU trade partners. Roughly three-quarters of Belgium's trade is with other EU countries.

In 2015, Belgian GDP grew by 1.4%, the unemployment rate stabilized at 8.6%, and the budget deficit was 2.7% of GDP. Prime Minister Charles MICHEL's center-right government has pledged to further reduce the deficit in response to EU pressure to reduce Belgium's high public debt, which remains above 100% of GDP, but such efforts could also dampen economic growth. In addition to restrained public spending, low wage growth and high unemployment promise to curtail a more robust recovery in private consumption.

The government has pledged to pursue a reform program to improve Belgium’s competitiveness, including changes to tax policy, labor market rules, and welfare benefits. These changes risk worsening tensions with trade unions and triggering extended strikes.

Economic Facts#

GDP (purchasing power parity)$508.6 billion (2016 est.)
$501.4 billion (2015 est.)
$494.6 billion (2014 est.)
note: data are in 2016 dollars
GDP (official exchange rate)$470.2 billion (2015 est.)
GDP - real growth rate1.4% (2016 est.)
1.4% (2015 est.)
1.3% (2014 est.)
GDP - per capita (PPP)$44,900 (2016 est.)
$44,700 (2015 est.)
$44,100 (2014 est.)
note: data are in 2016 dollars
Gross national saving23.8% of GDP (2016 est.)
22.6% of GDP (2015 est.)
22.8% of GDP (2014 est.)
GDP - composition, by end usehousehold consumption: 51.8%
government consumption: 24%
investment in fixed capital: 23.3%
investment in inventories: -0.1%
exports of goods and services: 83.1%
imports of goods and services: -82.1% (2016 est.)
GDP - composition, by sector of originagriculture: 0.6%
industry: 21.8%
services: 77.6% (2016 est.)
Agriculture - productssugar beets, fresh vegetables, fruits, grain, tobacco; beef, veal, pork, milk
Industriesengineering and metal products, motor vehicle assembly, transportation equipment, scientific instruments, processed food and beverages, chemicals, base metals, textiles, glass, petroleum
Industrial production growth rate1.5% (2016 est.)
Labor force5.272 million (2016 est.)
Labor force - by occupationagriculture: 1.3%
industry: 18.6%
services: 80.1% (2013 est.)
Unemployment rate8.4% (2016 est.)
8.5% (2015 est.)
Population below poverty line15.1% (2013 est.)
Household income or consumption by percentage sharelowest 10%: 3.4%
highest 10%: 28.4% (2006)
Distribution of family income - Gini index25.9 (2013 est.)
28.7 (1996)
Budgetrevenues: $232.3 billion
expenditures: $245 billion (2016 est.)
Taxes and other revenues49.4% of GDP (2016 est.)
Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-)-2.7% of GDP (2016 est.)
Public debt106.7% of GDP (2016 est.)
106.1% of GDP (2015 est.)
note: data cover general government debt and include debt instruments issued (or owned) by government entities other than the treasury; the data include treasury debt held by foreign entities; the data include debt issued by subnational entities, as well as int
Fiscal yearcalendar year
Inflation rate (consumer prices)1.6% (2016 est.)
0.6% (2015 est.)
Central bank discount rate0.05% (31 December 2013)
0.3% (31 December 2010)
note: this is the European Central Bank's rate on the marginal lending facility, which offers overnight credit to banks in the euro area
Commercial bank prime lending rate2.5% (31 December 2016 est.)
2.46% (31 December 2015 est.)
Stock of narrow money$193 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$181.5 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
note: see entry for the European Union for money supply for the entire euro area; the European Central Bank (ECB) controls monetary policy for the 18 members of the Economic and Monetary Union (EMU); individual members of the EMU do not control the quantity of
Stock of broad money$606.9 billion (31 December 2014 est.)
$630.9 billion (31 December 2013 est.)
Stock of domestic credit$646.6 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$660.8 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
Market value of publicly traded shares$414.6 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
$378.5 billion (31 December 2014 est.)
$374.3 billion (31 December 2013 est.)
Current account balance$585 million (2016 est.)
-$155 million (2015 est.)
Exports$250.8 billion (2016 est.)
$259.9 billion (2015 est.)
Exports - commoditieschemicals, machinery and equipment, finished diamonds, metals and metal products, foodstuffs
Exports - partnersGermany 16.9%, France 15.5%, Netherlands 11.4%, UK 8.8%, US 6%, Italy 5% (2015)
Imports$251.7 billion (2016 est.)
$259.6 billion (2015 est.)
Imports - commoditiesraw materials, machinery and equipment, chemicals, raw diamonds, pharmaceuticals, foodstuffs, transportation equipment, oil products
Imports - partnersNetherlands 16.7%, Germany 12.7%, France 9.6%, US 8.7%, UK 5.1%, Ireland 4.7%, China 4.3% (2015)
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold$24.1 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
$25.4 billion (31 December 2014 est.)
Debt - external$1.281 trillion (31 March 2016 est.)
$1.214 trillion (31 March 2015 est.)
Stock of direct foreign investment - at home$1.045 trillion (31 December 2016 est.)
$1.034 trillion (31 December 2015 est.)
Stock of direct foreign investment - abroad$1.01 trillion (31 December 2016 est.)
$1.01 trillion (31 December 2015 est.)
Exchange rateseuros (EUR) per US dollar -
0.9214 (2016 est.)
0.885 (2015 est.)
0.885 (2014 est.)
0.7634 (2013 est.)
0.78 (2012 est.)