Country snapshots 2017-18: Belgium

Low productivity growth

Economic growth is projected to rise only slightly over the next two years. Sluggish real wage growth will hold back private consumption, although lower taxation of labour will support employment. Investment is moderate, despite high profit margins and favourable financial conditions. Consumer price inflation is projected to be stable at under 2%.

Productivity growth has been lower than in most other OECD countries in recent years. It would be boosted by structural reforms that remove barriers to entrepreneurship, strengthen innovation, reduce skill mismatches and foster labour mobility. Improving educational outcomes and labour force participation of vulnerable groups, including first and second-generation immigrants, would raise productivity and enhance inclusive growth. House prices and household mortgage debt have increased in recent years, although prudential measures and improvements in bank balance sheets have mitigated the associated risks to the real economy.  

GDP growth


Current prices EUR billion




% real change



391.7 1.2 1.3 1.5


©OECD Observer No 308 Q4 2016

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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