With a growth rate of 4.9% and a record total of 42.3 billion euros, Walloon exports seemed to be back on an upward trend in 2014, and this seems strengthened in 2015 according to recent order books, revealed Jean-Claude Marcourt, Walloon minister for the Economy, on Monday. This growth rate places Wallonia at the top of the European league, compared to Germany (3.7%), Flanders (1.4%), EU15 (0.9%), the Netherlands (0.4%), or France (-0.3%), according to figures from the Walloon agency for exports and foreign investments (AWEX).
With its relatively small export market, Wallonia suffered the 2008-2009 crisis better than its neighbours, but did not quite manage to reboot its exports, neither in 2012 (-2.3%) nor in 2013 (1.4%). “Does this swallow really make a summer? It’s not guaranteed but in any case, without swallows it is hard to say that summer is here,” commented Mr. Marcourt (PS).
The trend growth observed since May 2013 (between 2.9% and 7.7% per quarter) and the recovery witnessed in the export order books curve for the end of 2015 seem to point to an improvement, helped as well by the favourable exchange rate between euros and dollars (PS).