Source
Central bank

National Bank of Belgium

International Reserves

USD 26.9 billion (2018)

International Monetary Fund (IMF), data retrieved October 2019

Gross Domestic Product - GDP

USD 533.2 billion (2018, estimate)

GDP (Purchasing Power Parity)

Intl$ 550.5 billion (2018, estimate)

Real GDP growth
2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013
3.4% 0.8% -2.3% 2.7% 1.8% 0.2% 0.2%
2014 2015 2016 2017* 2018*    
1.3% 1.7% 1.5% 1.7% 1.4%    

*Estimate

GDP per capita - current prices

USD 46,724.4 (2018, estimate)

GDP per capita - PPP

Intl$ 48,244.7 (2018, estimate)

GDP (PPP) - share of world total
0.4% (2019, estimate)
 
 
Source
GDP - composition by sector
  • agriculture: 0.7% 
  • industry: 19.6% 
  • services: 68.8%

(2016 estimate)

Gross domestic expenditure on R&D; (% of GDP)

2.6% (2017)

 

Inflation
2015 2016 2017 2018* 2019*
0.6% 1.8% 2.2% 2.3% 1.5%

*Estimate

Unemployment rate
2015 2016 2017 2018* 2019*
8.5% 7.9% 7.1% 6% 5.5%

*Estimate

Household saving rates

4% (2017)

 

Public debt (General government gross debt as a % of GDP)
2015 2016 2017 2018* 2019*
106.3% 106.1% 103.4% 102% 101%

*Estimate

Public deficit (General government net lending/borrowing as a % of GDP)
2015 2016 2017 2018* 2019*
-2.4% -2.4% -0.8% 0.7% -1.3%

*Estimate

Government bond ratings

Standard & Poor's: AA

Moody's: Aa3

Standard & Poor's / Moody's

Market value of publicly traded shares
2016 2017 2018
USD 378.1 billion USD 437.8 billion USD 321.1 billion

*Estimate 

Largest companies

Anheuser-Busch InBev, KBC Group, Ageas, Solvay, Dexia, UCB, Umicore, Colruyt, Proximus, Sofina

 
 
Source
Current account balance

USD -7.0 billion (2018 estimate)

Current account balance by percentage of GDP

-1.3 % (2018 estimate)

Exports as percent of GDP (Exports of goods and services)

87.9% (2018)

Shares in world total merchandising export

2.40% (2018)

Shares in world total commercial services export

2.10% (2018)

Total exports

USD 465.6 billion (2018 estimate)

Export commodities

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

Total imports

USD 470.5 billion (2018 estimate)

 
 
Source
Import commodities

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

Exports - major partners

Germany 16.6%, France 14.9%, Netherlands 12%, UK 8.4%, Italy 4.9%, US 4.8% (2017)

Imports - major partners

Netherlands 17.3%, Germany 13.8%, France 9.5%, US 7.1%, UK 4.9%, Ireland 4.2%, China 4.1% (2017)

FDI inflows
2016 2017 2018
USD 50,987 million USD -5,763 million USD 4,873 million
FDI outflows
2016 2017 2018
USD 20,974 million USD 24,201 million USD 6,910 million
Value of cross-border M&A, by country of purchaser
2015 2016 2017 2018
USD 5,590 million USD 101,060 million USD -8,771 million USD 410 million
Cross-border M&A deals worth over $3 billion completed in 2014

Anheuser-Busch Inbev, Oriental Brewery Co Ltd, Korea, Republic of, USD 5.8 billion

(for a monthly update on M&A; click here )

Cross-border M&A deals worth over $3 billion completed in 2015

Solvay SA, Cytec Industries Inc, United States, USD 5.5 billion

(for a monthly update on M&A; click here )

Best countries for doing business

Economies are ranked on their ease of doing business. A high ease of doing business ranking means the regulatory environment is more conducive to the starting and operation of a local firm.

Overall ranking:

46 out of 190 countries

Subcategories:
Starting a Business: 48 out of 190 countries
Dealing with Construction Permits: 45 out of 190 countries
Getting Electricity: 108 out of 190 countries
Registering Property: 139 out of 190 countries
Getting Credit: 67 out of 190 countries
Protecting Minority Investors: 45 out of 190 countries
Paying Taxes: 63 out of 190 countries
Trading across Borders: 1 out of 190 countries
Enforcing Contracts: 56 out of 190 countries
Resolving Insolvency: 9 out of 190 countries
World Bank - Doing Business 2019

Global competitiveness ranking

22 out of 141 countries

World Economic Forum - The Global Competitiveness Index 2019

Index of Economic Freedom

Ranking: 48 / Score: 67.3 (Moderately free)

(100=totally free 0=totally repressed)

 
 
Source
Time zone

UTC+1

Total area

30,528 sq km 

Capital

Brussels

Currency

Euros (EUR)

Government type

Federal parliamentary democracy under a constitutional monarchy

Languages

Dutch (official) 60%, French (official) 40%, German (official) less than 1%

Religions

 Roman Catholic 75%, other (includes Protestant) 25%

Total population
1990 2000 2010 2016* 2021*
9.948 million 10.239 million 10.84 million 11.332 million 11.93 million

*Estimate 

 
 
Source
Urban population as % of total population
1960 1980 2000 2015
93% 95% 97% 98%
Population median age

41.4 years (2016 estimate)

Population growth rate

0.73% (2016 estimate)

Life expectancy

81 years (2016 estimate)

Literacy

N/A

% of population living on less than $3.10 a day

N/A

Inequality of wealth distribution (Gini index)

27.6 (2012)

(0=perfect equality, 100=absolute inequality)

Freedom House rating

Political Rights: 1
Civil Liberties: 1 (2014)

(1 represents the most free, 7 the least free)

Source
Total telephone subscribers as % of population

Fixed 40.14%   Mobile 115.69% (2015)
(fixed-telephone subscribers and mobile-cellular subscribers)

Internet users as % of total population

85.05% (2015)

Mercer Cost of living index

Brussels: 86th (2016)

CO2 emissions

8.4 (2013)

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