All three Belgian regions achieved more economic growth than the previous year in 2017. It was higher in Flanders (+2%) than in Wallonia (+1.6%) and Brussels (+0.9%). The Belgian National Bank (BNB) published their statistics on Friday. Economic growth across Belgium reached 1.7% in 2017.
Economic growth in the three regions was mainly down to corporate services and administrative and support services. The production and distribution of gas and electricity actually reduced economic growth throughout the country.
“A fall in trade in Brussels had a negative impact overall. Telecommunications, on the other hand, made a very positive contribution. Industry as a whole helped boost economic growth in Flanders and Wallonia, especially the pharmaceutical industry. This is despite a decrease in metalworking activities and the production of metal objects. IT and information services also help increase growth in Flanders. Education was a very important growth factor in Wallonia”, says the BNB.
Flanders also had the biggest growth in employment in 2017. Employment increased by 44,000 people in Flanders (+1.6%), 17,200 people in Wallonia (+1.4%) and 3,300 people in Brussels (+0.5%). This increase was bigger than 2016 for all three regions.
“All three regions registered an increase in the number of employees and freelancers in 2017. Brussels saw slightly less growth in the number of employees, but increased growth in the number of freelancers. Flanders and Wallonia had the opposite: a bigger increase in the number of employees than 2016 and a smaller increase in the number of freelancers”, BNB said.