Reforms needed
Developments in oil prices and in export markets have weighed on Belgium’s activity but, with these factors becoming more favourable, growth is projected to pick up progressively.
Employment growth is, however, unlikely to be strong enough to reduce the unemployment rate much from the current 8.4%. Headline inflation should fall back almost to the underlying rate of 1.6% by 2007.Further fiscal consolidation measures, focusing on expenditure restraint, should be implemented to build on progress made in moving public finances towards a sustainable path. The government aims to maintain the budget in balance in 2006 and to achieve a small surplus in 2007. Reforms to lower benefit dependence and increase employment rates, especially for older and younger workers, are vital as they reduce the amount of consolidation required for the sustainability of public finances.
Population (000s), 200410 399
Area (000 sq km)31
GDP (Billion USD), 2004352.3
Life expectancy at birth (Women, Men), 2002 81.1, 75.1
Total labour force (000s), 20044 561
Government typeConstitutional Monarchy
Indicators% change unless otherwise indicated
GDP growth1.42.02.2
Household savings ratio10.810.310.4
Consumer price index2.62.41.7
Short-term interest rate (%)
Unemployment rate (%)
General government financial balance (% GDP)0.0-0.4-0.7
Current account balance (% GDP)
Source: OECD© OECD Observer, No. 252/253, November 2005

Economic data

GDP growth: -9.8% Q2/Q1 2020 2020
Consumer price inflation: 1.3% Sep 2020 annual
Trade (G20): -17.7% exp, -16.7% imp, Q2/Q1 2020
Unemployment: 7.3% Sep 2020
Last update: 10 Nov 2020

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