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 volatility in world markets. Roughly three-quarters of Belgium's trade is with other EU countries, and Belgium has benefited most from its proximity to Germany. In 2013 Belgian GDP grew by 0.1%, the unemployment rate increased to 8.8% from 7.6% the previous year, and the government reduced the budget deficit from a peak of 6% of GDP in 2009 to 3.2%. Despite the relative improvement in Belgium's budget deficit, public debt hovers around 100% of GDP, a factor that has contributed to investor perceptions that the country is increasingly vulnerable to spillover from the euro-zone crisis. Belgian banks were severely affected by the international financial crisis in 2008 with three major banks receiving capital injections from the government, and the nationalization of the Belgian retail arm of a Franco-Belgian bank.

Economic Facts#

GDP (purchasing power parity)$421.7 billion (2013 est.)
$421.3 billion (2012 est.)
$422.5 billion (2011 est.)
note: data are in 2013 US dollars
GDP - real growth rate0.1% (2013 est.)
-0.3% (2012 est.)
1.8% (2011 est.)
GDP - per capita (PPP)$37,800 (2013 est.)
$38,000 (2012 est.)
$38,400 (2011 est.)
note: data are in 2013 US dollars
GDP - composition, by sector of originagriculture: 0.8%
industry: 22.6%
services: 76.6% (2013 est.)
Population below poverty line15.2% (2007 est.)
Household income or consumption by percentage sharelowest 10%: 3.4%
highest 10%: 28.4% (2006)
Labor force - by occupationagriculture: 2%
industry: 25%
services: 73% (2007 est.)
Exports - commoditiesmachinery and equipment, chemicals, finished diamonds, metals and metal products, foodstuffs
Exports - partnersGermany 18%, France 16.1%, Netherlands 13%, UK 7.3%, US 5.3%, Italy 4.4% (2012)
Agriculture - productssugar beets, fresh vegetables, fruits, grain, tobacco; beef, veal, pork, milk
Budgetrevenues: $241.9 billion
expenditures: $258.2 billion (2013 est.)
Imports - commoditiesraw materials, machinery and equipment, chemicals, raw diamonds, pharmaceuticals, foodstuffs, transportation equipment, oil products
Imports - partnersNetherlands 20.9%, Germany 14.2%, France 10.6%, US 6.1%, UK 5.5%, Ireland 4.4% (2012)
Exchange rateseuros (EUR) per US dollar -
0.7634 (2013 est.)
0.7752 (2012 est.)
0.755 (2010 est.)
0.7198 (2009 est.)
0.6827 (2008 est.)
Exports$295.3 billion (2013 est.)
$302.4 billion (2012 est.)
Debt - external$1.424 trillion (31 December 2012 est.)
$1.417 trillion (31 December 2011)
Fiscal yearcalendar year
Imports$310.2 billion (2013 est.)
$311.1 billion (2012 est.)
Industrial production growth rate0.2% (2013 est.)
Industriesengineering and metal products, motor vehicle assembly, transportation equipment, scientific instruments, processed food and beverages, chemicals, base metals, textiles, glass, petroleum
Inflation rate (consumer prices)1.3% (2013 est.)
2.6% (2012 est.)
Labor force5.15 million (2013 est.)
Unemployment rate8.8% (2013 est.)
7.6% (2012 est.)
Distribution of family income - Gini index28 (2005)
28.7 (1996)
Public debt102.4% of GDP (2013 est.)
99.6% of GDP (2012 est.)
note: data cover general government debt, and includes 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 intra-governmental debt; intra-governmental debt consists of treasury borrowings from surpluses in the social funds, such as for retirement, medical care, and unemployment; debt instruments for the social funds are not sold at public auctions; general government debt is defined by the Maastricht definition and calculated by the National Bank of Belgium as consolidated gross debt; the debt is defined in European Regulation EC479/2009 concerning the implementation of the protocol on the excessive deficit procedure annexed to the Treaty on European Union (Treaty of Maastricht) of 7 February 1992; the sub-sectors of consolidated gross debt are: federal government, communities and regions, local government, and social security funds
Current account balance-$9.1 billion (2013 est.)
-$6.65 billion (2012 est.)
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold$30.77 billion (31 December 2012 est.)
$29.43 billion (31 December 2011 est.)
GDP (official exchange rate)$507.4 billion (2013 est.)
Stock of direct foreign investment - at home$1.195 trillion (31 December 2013 est.)
$1.159 trillion (31 December 2012 est.)
Stock of direct foreign investment - abroad$1.215 trillion (31 December 2013 est.)
$1.185 trillion (31 December 2012 est.)
Market value of publicly traded shares$NA (31 December 2012 est.)
$NA (31 December 2011)
$269.3 billion (31 December 2010 est.)
Central bank discount rate0.75% (31 December 2013)
1.5% (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 rate3.5% (31 December 2013 est.)
3.62% (31 December 2012 est.)
Stock of domestic credit$581.4 billion (31 December 2013 est.)
$574.8 billion (31 December 2012 est.)
Stock of narrow money$185.1 billion (31 December 2013 est.)
$185.7 billion (31 December 2012 est.)
note: see entry for the European Union for money supply in the euro area; the European Central Bank (ECB) controls monetary policy for the 17 members of the Economic and Monetary Union (EMU); individual members of the EMU do not control the quantity of money circulating within their own borders
Stock of broad money$591.7 billion (31 December 2013 est.)
$585 billion (31 December 2012 est.)
Taxes and other revenues47.7% of GDP (2013 est.)
Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-)-3.2% of GDP (2013 est.)
GDP - composition, by end usehousehold consumption: 53.7%
government consumption: 25%
investment in fixed capital: 20.2%
investment in inventories: 0.8%
exports of goods and services: 81.8%
imports of goods and services: -81.5%
(2013 est.)
Gross national saving19.2% of GDP (2013 est.)
19.6% of GDP (2012 est.)
20.8% of GDP (2011 est.)