Belgium Economy 2018, CIA World Factbook
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Belgium Economy 2018

SOURCE: 2018 CIA WORLD FACTBOOK AND OTHER SOURCES











Belgium Economy 2018
SOURCE: 2018 CIA WORLD FACTBOOK AND OTHER SOURCES


Page last updated on February 28, 2018

Economy - overview:
Belgium’s central geographic location and highly developed transport network have helped develop a well-diversified economy, with a broad mix of transport, services, manufacturing, and high tech. Service and high-tech industries are concentrated in the northern Flanders region while the southern region of Wallonia is home to industries like coal and steel manufacturing. Belgium is completely reliant on foreign sources of fossil fuels, and the planned closure of its seven nuclear plants by 2025 should increase its dependence on foreign energy. Its role as a regional logistical hub makes its economy vulnerable to shifts in foreign demand, particularly with EU trading partners. Roughly three-quarters of Belgium's trade is with other EU countries, and the port of Zeebrugge conducts almost half its trade with the United Kingdom alone, leaving Belgium’s economy vulnerable to the outcome of negotiations on the UK’s exit from the EU.Belgium’s GDP grew by 1.7% in 2017 and the budget deficit was 1.5% of GDP. Unemployment stood at 7.3%, however the unemployment rate is lower in Flanders than Wallonia, 4.4% compared to 9.4%, because of industrial differences between the regions. The economy largely recovered from the March 2016 terrorist attacks that mainly impacted the Brussels region tourist and hospitality industry. Prime Minister Charles MICHEL's center-right government has pledged to further reduce the deficit in response to EU pressure to decrease Belgium's high public debt of about 104% of GDP, but such efforts could also dampen economic growth. In addition to restrained public spending, low wage growth and higher inflation 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 labor market rules and welfare benefits. These changes have generally made Belgian wages more competitive regionally, but risk worsening tensions with trade unions and triggering extended strikes. In 2017, Belgium approved a tax reform plan to ease corporate rates from 33% to 29% by 2018 and down to 25% by 2020. The tax plan also included benefits for innovation and SMEs, intended to spur competitiveness and private investment.

GDP (purchasing power parity):
$526.4 billion (2017 est.) $517.9 billion (2016 est.) $511.8 billion (2015 est.)
note: data are in 2017 dollars
country comparison to the world: 38

GDP (official exchange rate):
$491.7 billion (2016 est.)
[see also: GDP (official exchange rate) country ranks ]

GDP - real growth rate:
1.6% (2017 est.) 1.2% (2016 est.) 1.5% (2015 est.)
country comparison to the world: 170
[see also: GDP - real growth rate country ranks ]

GDP - per capita:
$46,300 (2017 est.) $45,800 (2016 est.) $45,500 (2015 est.)
note: data are in 2017 dollars
country comparison to the world: 35

Gross national saving:
23.2% of GDP (2017 est.) 22.3% of GDP (2016 est.) 23.6% of GDP (2015 est.)
country comparison to the world: 64
[see also: Gross national saving country ranks ]

GDP - composition, by end use:
household consumption: 50.8%
[see also: GDP - composition, by end use - household consumption country ranks ]
government consumption: 23.3%
[see also: GDP - composition, by end use - government consumption country ranks ]
investment in fixed capital: 23%
[see also: GDP - composition, by end use - investment in fixed capital country ranks ]
investment in inventories: 0.5%
[see also: GDP - composition, by end use - investment in inventories country ranks ]
exports of goods and services: 87.7%
[see also: GDP - composition, by end use - exports of goods and services country ranks ]
imports of goods and services: -85.3% (2017 est.)
[see also: GDP - composition, by end use - imports of goods and services country ranks ]

GDP - composition, by sector of origin:
agriculture: 0.7%
[see also: GDP - composition, by sector of origin - agriculture country ranks ]
industry: 21.8%
[see also: GDP - composition, by sector of origin - industry country ranks ]
services: 77.5% (2017 est.)
[see also: GDP - composition, by sector of origin - services country ranks ]

Agriculture - products:
sugar beets, fresh vegetables, fruits, grain, tobacco; beef, veal, pork, milk

Industries:
engineering and metal products, motor vehicle assembly, transportation equipment, scientific instruments, processed food and beverages, chemicals, pharmaceuticals, base metals, textiles, glass, petroleum

Industrial production growth rate:
1.5% (2017 est.)
country comparison to the world: 150
[see also: Industrial production growth rate country ranks ]

Labor force:
5.324 million (2017 est.)
country comparison to the world: 79
[see also: Labor force country ranks ]

Labor force - by occupation:
agriculture: 1.3%
[see also: Labor force - by occupation - agriculture country ranks ]
industry: 18.6%
[see also: Labor force - by occupation - industry country ranks ]
services: 80.1% (2013 est.)
[see also: Labor force - by occupation - services country ranks ]

Unemployment rate:
7.5% (2017 est.) 7.9% (2016 est.)
country comparison to the world: 105
[see also: Unemployment rate country ranks ]

Population below poverty line:
15.1% (2013 est.)
[see also: Population below poverty line country ranks ]

Household income or consumption by percentage share:
lowest 10%: 3.4%
[see also: Household income or consumption by percentage share - lowest 10% country ranks ]
highest 10%: 28.4% (2006)

Distribution of family income - Gini index:
25.9 (2013 est.) 28.7 (1996)
country comparison to the world: 143
[see also: Distribution of family income - Gini index country ranks ]

Budget:
revenues: $249.7 billion
[see also: Budget - revenues country ranks ]
expenditures: $260 billion (2017 est.)
[see also: Budget - expenditures country ranks ]

Taxes and other revenues:
50.8% of GDP (2017 est.)
country comparison to the world: 14
[see also: Taxes and other revenues country ranks ]

Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-):
-2.1% of GDP (2017 est.)
country comparison to the world: 88
[see also: Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-) country ranks ]

Public debt:
104.3% of GDP (2017 est.) 106% of GDP (2016 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
country comparison to the world: 16
[see also: Public debt country ranks ]

Fiscal year:
calendar year

Inflation rate (consumer prices):
2.2% (2017 est.) 1.8% (2016 est.)
country comparison to the world: 104
[see also: Inflation rate (consumer prices) country ranks ]

Central bank discount rate:
0.25% (31 December 2016) 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
country comparison to the world: 142
[see also: Central bank discount rate country ranks ]

Commercial bank prime lending rate:
2% (31 December 2017 est.) 2.01% (31 December 2016 est.)
country comparison to the world: 178
[see also: Commercial bank prime lending rate country ranks ]

Stock of narrow money:
$238 billion (31 December 2017 est.) $198 billion (31 December 2016 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 money circulating within their own borders
country comparison to the world: 22
[see also: Stock of narrow money country ranks ]

Stock of broad money:
$601.3 billion (31 December 2017 est.) $525.8 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
country comparison to the world: 21
[see also: Stock of broad money country ranks ]

Stock of domestic credit:
$783.2 billion (31 December 2017 est.) $684.8 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
country comparison to the world: 20
[see also: Stock of domestic credit country ranks ]

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.)
country comparison to the world: 25
[see also: Market value of publicly traded shares country ranks ]

Current account balance:
-$1.47 billion (2017 est.) -$1.849 billion (2016 est.)
country comparison to the world: 145
[see also: Current account balance country ranks ]

Exports:
$309.1 billion (2017 est.) $277.7 billion (2016 est.)
country comparison to the world: 19
[see also: Exports country ranks ]

Exports - commodities:
chemicals, machinery and equipment, finished diamonds, metals and metal products, foodstuffs

Exports - partners:
Germany 16.7%, France 15.4%, Netherlands 11.2%, UK 8.9%, US 5.8%, Italy 5.2% (2016)

Imports:
$306.1 billion (2017 est.) $271.2 billion (2016 est.)
country comparison to the world: 17
[see also: Imports country ranks ]

Imports - commodities:
raw materials, machinery and equipment, chemicals, raw diamonds, pharmaceuticals, foodstuffs, transportation equipment, oil products

Imports - partners:
Netherlands 16.1%, Germany 13.6%, France 9.5%, US 8.1%, UK 4.8%, Ireland 4.5%, China 4.3% (2016)

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold:
$23.57 billion (31 December 2016 est.) $24.1 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
country comparison to the world: 55
[see also: Reserves of foreign exchange and gold country ranks ]

Debt - external:
$1.281 trillion (31 March 2016 est.) $1.214 trillion (31 March 2015 est.)
country comparison to the world: 16
[see also: Debt - external country ranks ]

Stock of direct foreign investment - at home:
$1.093 trillion (31 December 2017 est.) $1.054 trillion (31 December 2016 est.)
country comparison to the world: 11
[see also: Stock of direct foreign investment - at home country ranks ]

Stock of direct foreign investment - abroad:
$1.035 trillion (31 December 2017 est.) $1.016 trillion (31 December 2016 est.)
country comparison to the world: 13
[see also: Stock of direct foreign investment - abroad country ranks ]

Exchange rates:
euros (EUR) per US dollar - 0.906 (2017 est.) 0.9214 (2016 est.) 0.9214 (2015 est.) 0.885 (2014 est.) 0.7634 (2013 est.)


NOTE: 1) The information regarding Belgium on this page is re-published from the 2018 World Fact Book of the United States Central Intelligence Agency. No claims are made regarding the accuracy of Belgium Economy 2018 information contained here. All suggestions for corrections of any errors about Belgium Economy 2018 should be addressed to the CIA.
2) The rank that you see is the CIA reported rank, which may habe the following issues:
  a) The assign increasing rank number, alphabetically for countries with the same value of the ranked item, whereas we assign them the same rank.
  b) The CIA sometimes assignes counterintuitive ranks. For example, it assigns unemployment rates in increasing order, whereas we rank them in decreasing order






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