According to Belgium’s GDP, the Belgian economy suffered a significant loss in 2020, likely due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and its restrictions on society. Nevertheless, in 2021, the Belgian economy recovered significantly, with the fastest annual GDP growth in a decade. As of 2021, Belgium also had the seventeenth-highest GDP per capita in the world.
The Consumer Price IndexThe Consumer Price Index (CPI) represents the prices of a sample “basket” of consumer goods and services at a specific point in time and in February 2023, the Belgian CPI stood at 126.95, whereas in February 2022, it amounted to 119.07. Dissecting the Belgian economy further, in February 2023, the Belgian CPI for non-food products rocketed to 133.19, whereas the CPI for services reached 128.56.
Inflation, on the other hand, is measured by comparing the CPI over months and years, as Belgium faced an 6.62 percent inflation rate, significantly over the two percent goal of the European Central Bank (ECB). Inflation further diminishes the real value of an investment and has repercussions for consumer spending.
Employment and UnemploymentIn 2021, the job market in Belgium was characterized by an employment rate of 65.3 percent and an unemployment rate of 6.3 percent. Although unemployment in Belgium faced strong regional differences, in general, the situation was developing positively in the country. Indeed, since 2014, the unemployment rate has been steadily decreasing, with an increase in 2020 due to the impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, putting many workers put into furlough.
Overall, Belgium’s current economic landscape is characterized by a growing gross domestic product, escalating inflation and rising levels of employment as the country seeks to recover from the pandemic.