Belgian economy contracted 1.7 pct at end of 2008

12th March 2009, Comments 0 comments

Only government spending increased as a driver of the economy.

BRUSSELS - The Belgian economy contracted 1.7 percent in the final three months of 2008 in the worst quarterly performance on records going back to 1980, the National Accounts Institute said Wednesday.

A month ago the central bank took a less pessimistic view on the state of the Belgian economy at the end of last year, estimating that it had shrunk 1.3 percent.

The deterioration was widespread across the Belgian economy, but it hit the industrial sector particularly hard. Only government spending increased as a driver of the economy.

Despite the rough end to 2008, the country eked out growth of 1.1 percent for the whole of the year, down sharply from the 2.6 percent recorded the previous year.

AFP/Expatica

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