Belgian economy should return to pre-pandemic levels in 2022



Photo: IANS

Belgium's gross domestic product (GDP) is expected to rebound to pre-pandemic levels in early 2022 and economic growth should gradually normalise over the year, the country's Federal Planning Bureau (FPB) said.

After an initial shock suffered during the first quarter (Q1) of 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the economy of Belgium markedly recovered during the next two quarters before suffering a setback again in late 2020 following the government's decision to enforce new lockdown measures, Xinhua news agency quoted the FPB as saying on Thursday.

Growth then picked up again in Q1 of 2021 and the economy is expected to strengthen further this year as the country continues to reopen.

GDP is expected to grow 5.5 per cent in 2021 and 2.9 per cent in 2022 year-on-year.

In 2023-2026, GDP growth should average 1.4 per cent (slightly decreasing from 1.5 per cent in 2023 to 1.2 per cent in 2026), the FPB projected.

Between June 14-20, 422 new Covid-19 cases were detected on average per day, a decrease of 43 per cent compared to the previous week, according to the epidemiological bulletin published on Thursday by the Sciensano Institute of Public Health.

As of Thursday, 56.3 per cent of Belgium's adult population have been vaccinated with the first dose and 31.3 per cent with two doses, according to official figures.-IANS

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