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According to a new economic impact study from the National Bank of Belgium, the spread of COVID-19 and the stringent containment measures imposed by governments hit Belgian international maritime trade volumes. Export and import flows through maritime transport with non-EU countries declined respectively by 5% and 4% in 2020, while the aggregate turnover of Belgian ports dropped by 10.5%. 


GDP was 0.6 % higher in the first quarter of 2021 than in the previous quarter. In comparison with the first quarter of 2020 economic growth came to -1.0 %. Economic activity is still not back to its pre-COVID-19 level.

Flash estimate

Did the income of households hold up during the coronavirus crisis, and what about their savings buffer? We looked into it using their responses to the recent consumer surveys.



The loss of turnover which Belgian firms are suffering as a result of the coronavirus crisis has risen only slightly from 9 % in March to 10 % in April. For most sectors of activity, turnover is relatively stable while the loss of turnover has increased considerably in non-food retailing and especially in non-medical contact professions, as these two sectors were affected by the tightening of restrictions during the “Easter break”. 

ermg spotlight

The business climate has clearly strengthened in business-related services as well as in the manufacturing industry and the building industry. In the trade sector the indicator fell back.


Consumers appear more pessimistic about the general economic situation and unemployment in Belgium. Plans to save are on the rise again.

  • Economic indicators for Belgium (2021-18)

  • Key figures of the Central Individual Credit Register

  • Economic indicators for Belgium (2021-19)

  • Foreign Trade statistic - Monthly Bulletin (F-N) (2021-02)

  • Press release - Foreign Trade (F-N) (2021-02)

  • Statistical bulletin - Monthly update (2021-04)

  • Press release - Consumer confidence indicator (2021-05)

  • Economic indicators for Belgium (2021-20)

  • Press release - Business confidence indicator (2021-05)

  • Economic indicators for Belgium (2021-21)

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