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Economy and Banking Sector of Belgium

National Currency

Euro (EUR)

Belgium joined the Euro Area on 1 January 1999.

GDP

Nominal GDP (2018)
450.5 bln EUR  (+0.03%)
Nominal GDP per Capita (2018)
39,500 EUR  (+0.02%)
Real GDP Growth (2018)
1.4 %  (2017: 1.7 %)

According to Eurostat, nominal GDP of Belgium in 2018 was 450.5 bln EUR.

Belgium underperforms the European Union in terms of real GDP growth with the average annual differential coming to -0.3% over the past 10 years (2008 - 2018). In 2018 real GDP growth was 1.4% which was below the Euro Area average (1.9%) and below the European Union average (2.0%). Real GDP growth in 2019 - 2024 are IMF's estimates.

Real GDP Growth in Belgium.

Chart 1. Real GDP Growth in Belgium. Source: Eurostat, International Monetary Fund.

In 2018, nominal GDP per capita in Belgium was 39,500 EUR.

Belgium has an above-average level of wealth in terms of per-capita GDP at purchasing power parity (PPP); this economic welfare indicator has, on average, exceeded that of the European Union by 11.1% over the past 10 years (2007 - 2017). GDP per capita at PPP in 2018 - 2024 are IMF's estimates.

GDP Per Capita at Purchasing Power Parity in  Belgium; European Union = 100.

Chart 2. GDP Per Capita at Purchasing Power Parity in Belgium; European Union = 100.

Inflation Rate

CPI, MoM (Mar 2019)
0.2 %  (Feb 2019: 1.8 %)
CPI, YoY (Mar 2019)
2.2 %  (Feb 2019: 2.0 %)
CPI, Year Average (2018)
2.3 %  (2017: 2.2 %)

According to Eurostat, inflation rate in Belgium in 2018 expressed as annual percentages of average consumer prices was 2.3% which was above the Euro Area average (1.8%) and above the European Union average (1.9%). Inflation rates in 2019 - 2024 are IMF's estimates.

Inflation Rate in Belgium.

Chart 3. Inflation Rate in Belgium. Source: Eurostat, International Monetary Fund.

Unemployment Rate

Unemployment Rate (2018)
6.0 %  (2017: 7.2 %)

According to Eurostat, unemployment rate in Belgium in 2018 was 6.0% which was below the Euro Area average (8.2%) and below the European Union average (6.8%). Unemployment rates in 2019 - 2024 are IMF's estimates.

Unemployment Rate in Belgium.

Chart 4. Unemployment Rate in Belgium. Source: Eurostat, International Monetary Fund.

Government Bond Yield

Government Bond Yield (Mar 2019)
0.54 %  (Feb 2019: 0.69 %)

According to Eurostat, government bond yield in Belgium in March 2019 was 0.54%, compared to 0.69% in February 2019.

Government bond yield of Belgium.

Chart 5. Government bond yield of Belgium. Source: Eurostat.

Credit Ratings (as of May 2018)

Fitch
AA- (very high credit quality), outlook stable
Moody's
Aa3 (high grade), outlook stable

Belgium has sovereign credit ratings assigned by Fitch and Moody's: the rating set by Fitch is AA- (very high credit quality), outlook stable; the rating set by Moody's is Aa3 (high grade), outlook stable.