Economic activity up by 0.2% in 4th quarter and 1% overall in 2014

Economic activity up by 0.2% in 4th quarter and 1% overall in 2014

Seasonally adjusted GDP progressed by 0.2% in the 4th quarter of 2014, and by 1% over the whole year, according to figures published by the National Accounts Institute (NAI) on Monday. More precisely, value-added of services rose by 0.7% in 2014, which is as much as in 2013. On the other hand, industrial value-added rose by 1.8% after falling by 0.7% in 2013. A similar turnaround was noted in the building sector with an upsurge of 3.2% in 2014 after a drop of 1.3% the previous year, pointed out NAI, adding that progress in the building industry happened mostly in the first quarter.

A 4.8% rise in gross fixed capital formation affected domestic public expenditure in 2014. This increase resulted mostly from business investments which went up by 6.7%. Approximately two thirds of this hike was due to purchases of important permits and of foreign vessels, added NAI.

According to the Institute, household investments (housing) and public investments also rose, by 0.9% and 0.6%. Household consumption expenditure had a positive effect on the economic activity in 2014, thanks to a 1% rise, sharper than 2013’s 0.3%. General government consumption also increased in 2014 (+0.4%). “Due to positive growth rates, domestic demand (direct purchases) rose by 1.7%” added NAI.

Meanwhile, export volumes rose more than imports (+3.3% vs +2.9%) in 2014. Consequently, net exports of goods and services boosted growth by 0.4%, explained NAI.

Lastly, employment grew by 15,500 jobs in 2014, when it had decreased by 12,500 in 2013.

(Source: Belga)  

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