About Belgium and Key Financial Statistics

About Belgium and Key Financial Statistics

Overview of Economy:

This modern, open, and private-enterprise-based economy has capitalized on its central geographic location, highly developed transport network, and diversified industrial and commercial base. Industry is concentrated mainly in the more heavily-populated region of Flanders in the north. With few natural resources, Belgium imports substantial quantities of raw materials and exports a large volume of manufactures, making its economy vulnerable to shifts in foreign demand, particularly in Belgium’s EU trade partners. Roughly three-quarters of Belgium's trade is with other EU countries. In 2014 Belgian GDP grew by 0.9%, the unemployment rate stabilized at 8.5%, and the budget deficit was 3.2% of GDP. Prime Minister Charles MICHEL's center-right government has pledged to further reduce the deficit in response to EU pressure to reduce Belgium's high public debt, which remains above 100% of GDP, but such efforts could also dampen economic growth. In addition to restrained public spending, low wage growth and high unemployment promise to curtail a more robust recovery in private consumption. The government has pledged to pursue a reform program to improve Belgium’s competitiveness, including changes to tax policy, labor market rules, and welfare benefits. These changes risk worsening tensions with trade unions and triggering extended strikes.

Gross Domestic Product (In USD):

$483.3 billion (2014 est.)

$478.2 billion (2013 est.)

$476.8 billion (2012 est.)

Composition of Gross Domestic Product:

% Agricuture: 0.7

% Industry: 22.5

% Services: 76.8

Composition of Labor Force by Occupation:

% Agriculture: 1.3

% Industry: 18.6

% Services: 80.1

Per Capita Income:

$43,100 (2014 est.)

$42,700 (2013 est.)

$42,600 (2012 est.)


$326 billion (2014 est.)

$322 billion (2013 est.)

Key Export Commodities:

chemicals, machinery and equipment, finished diamonds, metals and metal products, foodstuffs

Export Partners:

Germany 17.3%, France 16.2%, Netherlands 12.2%, UK 8.6%, US 4.9%, Italy 4.5% (2014)


$330.8 billion (2014 est.)

$331.7 billion (2013 est.)

Key Import Commodities:

raw materials, machinery and equipment, chemicals, raw diamonds, pharmaceuticals, foodstuffs, transportation equipment, oil products

Import Partners:

Netherlands 20.2%, Germany 13.3%, France 10.3%, US 7.1%, UK 5% (2014)

Inflation Rate (Consumer Price Index):

0.5% (2014 est.)

1.2% (2013 est.)

Exchange Rate to USD:

euros (EUR) per US dollar -

0.7489 (2014 est.)

0.7634 (2013 est.)

0.78 (2012 est.)

0.7185 (2011 est.)

0.755 (2010 est.)

Unemployment Rate:

8.5% (2014 est.)

8.4% (2013 est.)

S&P Rating:

Standard & Poor's Ratings:

    • AAA: The best quality borrowers, reliable and stable

    • AA: Quality borrowers, a bit higher risk than AAA

    • A: Economic situation can affect finance

    • BBB: Medium class borrowers, which are satisfactory at the moment

    • BB: More prone to changes in the economy

    • B: Financial situation varies noticeably

    • CCC: An obligor rated currently vulnerable, and is dependent upon favorable business, financial, and economic conditions to meet its financial commitments.

Ref 2012-2014: CIA World Factbook, Wikipedia, PWC, EY, Standard & Poors ratings