Belgium growth quickens pace in 4Q

9th March 2011, Comments 0 comments

Belgium's economy grew at a faster than expected 0.5 percent in the final quarter of last year, and 2.1 percent overall in 2010, revised central bank figures showed Wednesday.

An initial estimate last month put growth in the fourth quarter at 0.3 percent in the last quarter of the year compared to 0.4 percent in the preceding period.

Domestic demand pushed up gross domestic product (GDP) in the kingdom as household consumption and corporate investment rose, the National Bank of Belgium (BNB) said. GDP rose 2.0 percent against the same quarter in 2009.

At 2.1 percent growth overall in 2010, Belgium was one of the best performers in the eurozone, the BNB said.

However, foreign demand was losing steam, with external trade negatively impacting growth for the first time since the middle of 2009, the bank said.

Exports edged down by 0.2 percent, while imports gained 1.2 percent, fueling domestic demand and boosting inventories.

© 2011 AFP

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