The Belgian economy maintained a consistent level of growth in the final months of 2023, marking a year of steady and controlled expansion. However, projections suggest that this sluggishness is likely to continue in the foreseeable future.
According to the National Bank of Belgium, the gross domestic product (GDP) increased by 0.4% in the fourth quarter, matching the growth rate of the previous quarter. While the industrial sector experienced a decline in the final quarter, the services sector played a crucial role in boosting overall growth with a notable increase of 0.7%.
When considering the entire year of 2023, Belgium’s economy – the sixth-largest in the eurozone – expanded by 1.5%, surpassing initial forecasts made by the central bank. However, this figure still represents a significant slowdown compared to the previous year. Looking ahead, the NBB projects a further deceleration of growth, estimating an overall expansion of 1.3% for this year based on forecasts published in December. Furthermore, prospects for recovery in the subsequent years appear to be limited.