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Belgium Economy 2014
http://www.theodora.com/wfbcurrent/belgium/belgium_economy.html
SOURCE: 2014 CIA WORLD FACTBOOK AND OTHER SOURCES


















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Page last updated on December 17, 2013

Economy - overview:
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 2011 Belgian GDP grew by 1.8%, the unemployment rate decreased slightly to 7.2% from 8.3% the previous year, and the government reduced the budget deficit from a peak of 6% of GDP in 2009 to 4.2% in 2011 and 3.3% in 2012. Fourth quarter GDP growth in 2012 was at -0.1%, the third consecutive quarter of negative growth. This brought economic growth for the whole of 2012 to negative 0.2%. It also left Belgium on the brink of a possible recession at the end of 2012. However, at year's end, the government appeared close to meeting its 2012 budget deficit goal of 3% of GDP. 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.

GDP (purchasing power parity):
$415.6 billion (2012 est.)
country comparison to the world: 33

$416.8 billion (2011 est.)
$409.2 billion (2010 est.)
note: data are in 2012 US dollars
[see also: GDP country ranks ]

GDP (official exchange rate):
$477.4 billion (2012 est.)
[see also: GDP (official exchange rate) country ranks ]

GDP - real growth rate:
-0.3% (2012 est.)
country comparison to the world: 184

1.8% (2011 est.)
2.4% (2010 est.)
[see also: GDP - real growth rate country ranks ]

GDP - per capita:
$37,500 (2012 est.)
country comparison to the world: 31

$37,900 (2011 est.)
$37,800 (2010 est.)
note: data are in 2012 US dollars
[see also: GDP - per capita country ranks ]

Gross national saving:
19.6% of GDP (2012 est.)
country comparison to the world: 76

20.8% of GDP (2011 est.)
22.3% of GDP (2010 est.)

GDP - composition, by end use:
household consumption: 52.9%
government consumption: 24.9%
investment in fixed capital: 20.7%
investment in inventories: 0.3%
exports of goods and services: 84.8%
imports of goods and services: -83.6%

(2012 est.)
[see also: country ranks ]

GDP - composition, by sector of origin:
agriculture: 0.8%
industry: 22.2%
services: 76.9% (2012 est.)

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, basic metals, textiles, glass, petroleum

Industrial production growth rate:
-1.6% (2012 est.)
country comparison to the world: 152
[see also: Industrial production growth rate country ranks ]

Labor force:
5.19 million (2012 est.)
country comparison to the world: 74
[see also: Labor force country ranks ]

Labor force - by occupation:
agriculture: 2%
[see also: Labor force - by occupation - agriculture country ranks ]
industry: 25%
services: 73% (2007 est.)

Unemployment rate:
7.6% (2012 est.)
country comparison to the world: 84

7.2% (2011 est.)
[see also: Unemployment rate country ranks ]

Population below poverty line:
15.2% (2007 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:
28 (2005)
country comparison to the world: 122

28.7 (1996)
[see also: Distribution of family income - Gini index country ranks ]

Budget:
revenues: $246.6 billion
[see also: Budget revenues country ranks ]
expenditures: $266.5 billion (2012 est.)

Taxes and other revenues:
51.7% of GDP (2012 est.)
country comparison to the world: 13
[see also: Taxes and other revenues country ranks ]

Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-):
-4.2% of GDP (2012 est.)
country comparison to the world: 148
[see also: Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-) country ranks ]

Public debt:
99.6% of GDP (2012 est.)
country comparison to the world: 15

97.8% of GDP (2011 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
[see also: Public debt country ranks ]

Fiscal year:
calendar year

Inflation rate (consumer prices):
2.6% (2012 est.)
country comparison to the world: 72

3.4% (2011 est.)
[see also: Inflation rate (consumer prices) country ranks ]

Central bank discount rate:
1.5% (31 December 2012)
country comparison to the world: 121

1.75% (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
[see also: Central bank discount rate country ranks ]

Commercial bank prime lending rate:
3.62% (31 December 2012 est.)
country comparison to the world: 170

3.93% (31 December 2011 est.)
[see also: Commercial bank prime lending rate country ranks ]

Stock of narrow money:
$185.7 billion (31 December 2012 est.)
country comparison to the world: 20

$170.4 billion (31 December 2011 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
[see also: Stock of narrow money country ranks ]

Stock of broad money:
$543.2 billion (31 December 2012 est.)
country comparison to the world: 21

$547.2 billion (31 December 2011 est.)
[see also: Stock of broad money country ranks ]

Stock of domestic credit:
$574.8 billion (31 December 2012 est.)
country comparison to the world: 23

$559.2 billion (31 December 2011 est.)
[see also: Stock of domestic credit country ranks ]

Market value of publicly traded shares:
$229.9 billion (31 December 2011)
country comparison to the world: 29

$269.3 billion (31 December 2010)
$261.4 billion (31 December 2009)
[see also: Market value of publicly traded shares country ranks ]

Current account balance:
$-6.65 billion (2012 est.)
country comparison to the world: 168

$-5.662 billion (2011 est.)
[see also: Current account balance country ranks ]

Exports:
$302.4 billion (2012 est.)
country comparison to the world: 19

$324.4 billion (2011 est.)
[see also: Exports country ranks ]

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

Exports - partners:
Germany 18%, France 16.1%, Netherlands 13%, UK 7.3%, US 5.3%, Italy 4.4% (2012)

Imports:
$311.1 billion (2012 est.)
country comparison to the world: 18

$336.1 billion (2011 est.)
[see also: Imports country ranks ]

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

Imports - partners:
Netherlands 20.9%, Germany 14.2%, France 10.6%, US 6.1%, UK 5.5%, Ireland 4.4% (2012)

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold:
$30.77 billion (31 December 2012 est.)
country comparison to the world: 50

$29.43 billion (31 December 2011 est.)
[see also: Reserves of foreign exchange and gold country ranks ]

Debt - external:
$1.424 trillion (31 December 2012)
country comparison to the world: 14

$1.417 trillion (31 December 2011)
[see also: Debt - external country ranks ]

Stock of direct foreign investment - at home:
$1.159 trillion (31 December 2012 est.)
country comparison to the world: 6

$1.161 trillion (31 December 2011 est.)
[see also: Stock of direct foreign investment - at home country ranks ]

Stock of direct foreign investment - abroad:
$1.185 trillion (31 December 2012 est.)
country comparison to the world: 7

$1.171 trillion (31 December 2011 est.)
[see also: Stock of direct foreign investment - abroad country ranks ]

Exchange rates:
euros (EUR) per US dollar -

0.78 (2012 est.)
0.72 (2011 est.)
0.76 (2010 est.)
0.72 (2009 est.)
0.68 (2008 est.)


NOTE: The information regarding Belgium on this page is re-published from the 2014 World Fact Book of the United States Central Intelligence Agency. No claims are made regarding the accuracy of Belgium Economy 2014 information contained here. All suggestions for corrections of any errors about Belgium Economy 2014 should be addressed to the CIA.



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