global economy

Belgian economy shrinks 12.2% in Q2 2020

Agence France-Presse, Agence France-Presse
Belgian economy shrinks 12.2% in Q2 2020

People wear protective face masks as they walk in the city center of Antwerp, Belgium, on July 27, 2020. - Belgium announced new rules on July 27 as it tries to stem a worrying flare-up in coronavirus cases centred on the port city of Antwerp. From July 29, Belgians will be allowed to see a maximum of five people outside of their families, reducing the permitted "social bubble" from 15. Working from home will be "strongly recommended." (Photo by JOHN THYS / AFP)

This follows a 3.5% contraction in Belgium's economy in the 1st quarter of 2020

Belgium’s gross domestic product (GDP) fell by 12.2% in the 2nd quarter compared with the previous 3 months, amid the coronavirus lockdown, according to the National Bank of Belgium (NBB). 

“According to the first estimates, the decline in economic activity compared to the previous quarter is approximately equally strong in industry, construction, and services,” the bank said. 

Belgian GDP had already fallen by 3.5% in the 1st quarter of 2020, according to NBB figures. 

In 2019, it had grown by between 0.1% and 0.5% in each quarter. 

The NBB also warned, “These growth figures are characterized by greater uncertainty than is usually the case.”

Belgium, like most European Union countries, was forced to implement major containment measures, particularly in March and April, in an attempt to curb the epidemic. 

After easing up in May and June, it has just announced a tightening of measures in response to a new increase in cases of COVID-19 infection. –