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    Belgium Economy - 1991

      Overview: This small private-enterprise economy has capitalized on its central geographic location, highly developed transport network, and diversified industrial and commercial base. Industry is concentrated mainly in the populous Flemish area in the north, although the government is encouraging reinvestment in the southern region of Walloon. With few natural resources Belgium must import essential raw materials, making its economy closely dependent on the state of world markets. Over 70% of trade is with other EC countries. During the period 1988-90 Belgium's economic performance was marked by buoyant output growth, moderate inflation, and a substantial external surplus. Real GDP grew by an average of 3.9% in 1988-90. However, the economy is likely to slow in 1991-92 to below 3% GDP growth.

      GDP: $144.8 billion, per capita $14,600; real growth rate 3.3% (1990)

      Inflation rate (consumer prices): 3% (1991 est.)

      Unemployment rate: 8.2% est. (1991 est.)

      Budget: revenues $45.0 billion; expenditures $55.3 billion, including capital expenditures of NA (1989)

      Exports: $106 billion (f.o.b., 1990 est.) Belgium-Luxembourg Economic Union; commodities--iron and steel, transportation equipment, tractors, diamonds, petroleum products; partners--EC 74%, US 5%, Communist countries 2% (1989)

      Imports: $108 billion (c.i.f., 1989) Belgium-Luxembourg Economic Union; commodities--fuels, grains, chemicals, foodstuffs; partners--EC 73%, US 4%, oil-exporting less developed countries 4%, Communist countries 3% (1989)

      External debt: $28.8 billion (1990 est.)

      Industrial production: growth rate 1.3% (1991 est.); accounts for almost 30% of GDP

      Electricity: 17,325,000 kW capacity; 62,780 million kWh produced, 6,350 kWh per capita (1989)

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

      Agriculture: accounts for 2% of GDP; emphasis on livestock production--beef, veal, pork, milk; major crops are sugar beets, fresh vegetables, fruits, grain, and tobacco; net importer of farm products

      Economic aid: donor--ODA and OOF commitments (1970-89), $5.8 billion

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

      Exchange rates: Belgian francs (BF) per US$1--31.102 (January 1991), 33.418 (1990), 39.404 (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 1991 World Fact Book of the United States Central Intelligence Agency. No claims are made regarding the accuracy of Belgium Economy 1991 information contained here. All suggestions for corrections of any errors about Belgium Economy 1991 should be addressed to the CIA.

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    Revised 08-Feb-03
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