30 July 2004
BRUSSELS – The Belgian economy is picking up, it was reported on Friday.
According to the national statistical institute, it has grown by 0.8 percent this financial quarter, compared to the first three months of this year.
That kind of upturn equates to an annual improvement in performance of 2.8 percent – a level of growth hasn’t been seen here since the end of 2000.
Although recent indicators released by the National Bank had suggested there would be grounds for optimism, the latest results have surprised economic analysts.
Several banks have now revised their forecasts about how much the economy will grow this year.
ING now predicts a 2.7 percent increase compared to 2.5 while Dexia has revised its estimate from 2.2 to 2.5.
The figures are good news for Prime Minister Guy Verhofstadt, giving him more budgetary flexibility.
However, the price of petrol could still prove bad news for the Belgian economy.
[Copyright Expatica 2004]
Subject: Belgian news