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Financial News: Belgium Economic Growth Slows Sharply In Q4

Belgium Economic Growth Slows Sharply In Q4

01/29/2021 - 05:20:00 (RTTNews)

(RTTNews) - Belgium's economy expanded for a second consecutive quarter in the final three months of 2020, but the pace of growth slowed sharply, and the economy contracted for the whole year that was ravaged by the coronavirus pandemic, preliminary figures from the National Bank of Belgium showed on Friday.

Gross domestic product grew 0.2 percent from the third quarter, when output jumped 11.6 percent after the Covid-19 induced slump in the previous two quarters.

The economy shrank 3.4 percent and 11.8 percent in the first and second quarters, respectively.

On a year-on-year basis, GDP fell 4.8 percent in the fourth quarter after a 4.3 percent decline in the previous three months. The yearly decrease was the fourth in a row.

"No return to levels of economic activity seen before the COVID-19 crisis is on the cards yet," the bank said.

For the full year 2020, GDP shrunk 6.2 percent after a 1.7 percent growth in 2019.

The latest decline was more than three times as big as that seen during the great recession in 2009, when output decreased 2.0 percent, the bank said.

The impact of the health crisis was felt the most in services, where GDP dropped by 6.4 percent, followed by industry and construction.

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