Belgian economy contracted 1.6 pct in Q1
Central Bank announced its first-quarter preliminary estimate.
The slump brought the contraction in the Belgian economy over one year to three percent.
In the final quarter of 2008, the economy shrank 1.7 percent from the previous quarter and 1.0 percent over one year as the country suffered its worst slump since 1980.
With the global downturn hitting Belgium's export-driven economy, the first quarter performance showed that the country had officially entered recession, which economists generally define as two consecutive quarters of contraction.