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    Belgium’s total debt verges on 300% of GDP

    Eurostat figures, published on Wednesday by De Tijd and L’Echo, showed that the total public and private Belgian debt reached 296% of GDP (Gross Domestic Product) for 2016. During recent years, the level of debt has increased more quickly in Belgium than in the majority of other countries. The private sector currently has a debt level equivalent to 190% of GDP, whilst a limit of 133% is considered acceptable by the European Commission. This is the observation of both daily publications. At household level, increasing debt is, amongst other factors, attributed to the purchase of homes against a backdrop of increased property prices.

    However, Belgium is positioned extremely well as regards its net assets. Our country has net financial assets (in the public and private sector) above 51% of GDP. Within the eurozone, this score is only exceeded by the Netherlands and Germany.

    Oscar Scheider
    The Brussels Times