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    Belgium Economy - 1989

      Overview: The economy is based on diversified industrial and commercial activities. Industry is mostly concentrated in the populous Flemish area in the north, though the government is encouraging reinvestment in the southern region of Walloon. Belgium has few natural resources so must import essential raw materials, making its economy highly dependent on the state of world markets. In 1988 over 70% of trade was with other EC countries. During the period 1986-88 the economy profited from falling oil prices and a lower dollar, which helped to improve the terms of trade. Consequently, real GDP grew by 2.9%, up from 1.5% in 1985. However, a large budget deficit, equal to about 7.7% of GNP, and a nearly 11% unemployment rate, cast a shadow on the economy.

      GNP: $155 billion, per capita $15,690; real growth rate 2.9% (1988 est.)

      Inflation rate (consumer prices): 1.5% (1988)

      Unemployment rate: 10.8% est. (1988)

      Budget: revenues $41.0 billion; expenditures $54.7 billion, including capital expenditures of NA (1988 est.)

      Exports: $99 billion (f.o.b., 1988 est.) Belgium-Luxembourg Economic Union @m5commodities--iron and steel, transportation equipment, tractors, diamonds, petroleum products; @m5partners--EC 74%, US 5%, Communist countries 2%

      Imports: $93 billion (c.i.f., 1988 est.) Belgium-Luxembourg Economic Union @m5commodities--fuels, grains, chemicals, foodstuffs; @m5partners--EC 72%, US 5%, oil-exporting less developed countries 4%, Communist countries 3%

      External debt: $14.9 billion (1988 est.)

      Industrial production: growth rate 2.3% (1988 est.)

      Electricity: 17,271,000 kW capacity; 60,951 million kWh produced, 6,160 kWh per capita (1988)

      Industries: engineering and metal products, processed food and beverages, chemicals, basic metals, textiles, glass, petroleum, coal

      Agriculture: accounts for 2% of GNP; principal crops--sugar beets, fresh vegetables, fruits, grain, tobacco; emphasis on livestock products--beef, veal, pork, milk; net importer of farm products livestock production predominates; grains, sugar beets, flax, potatoes, other vegetables, fruits

      Aid: donor--ODA and OOF commitments (1970-86), $4.0 billion

      Currency: Belgian franc (plural--francs); 1 Belgian franc (BF) = 100 centimes

      Exchange rates: Belgian francs (BF) per US$1--38.349 (January 1989), 36.768 (1988), 37.334 (1987), 44.672 (1986), 59.378 (1985)

      Fiscal year: calendar year

      NOTE: The information regarding Belgium on this page is re-published from the 1989 World Fact Book of the United States Central Intelligence Agency. No claims are made regarding the accuracy of Belgium Economy 1989 information contained here. All suggestions for corrections of any errors about Belgium Economy 1989 should be addressed to the CIA.

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    Revised 15-Apr-03
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