Real economic growth

  • Real economic growth in 2019 estimated at 1.5%

    Real economic growth in the Flemish Region is estimated at 1.7% and 1.5% for 2018 and 2019 respectively. 

    Economic growth improved in the years 2004-2007, with a 4.2% real growth of Flemish gross domestic product (GDP) in 2007. At the end of 2008, the financial-economic downturn began and made itself fully felt in 2009. In that year, the Flemish economy went into recession, with negative real growth (-1.8%). A partial recovery followed in 2010 and 2011, but in subsequent years, the debt and euro crises emerged, which was accompanied by an accumulation of debt, primarily in Mediterranean countries and tensions in the euro area. Economic growth is expected to be lower in 2019 due to a weaker international environment. 

  • Employment growth most important component of recent economic growth

    The real increase of labour productivity was an important component of Flemish real economic growth in the years from 2003 to 2007, but at the same time also an important component for the decline of economic activity in 2008 and 2009. Labour productivity was again on the increase in 2010 and 2011. From 2015 to 2019, the increase of employment has clearly been the most important component for the Flemish Region’s real economic growth. 

  • Flemish economic growth lower than EU average

    On average, there was a real economic growth of 1.7% in the Flemish Region for the 2017-2019 period. The Walloon economic growth stood at 1.4%. The Brussels-Capital Region had a weaker growth of 0.8% due to a lower employment growth.  

    The EU average for the 2017-2019 period was higher (1.9%). Economic growth was strongest in Malta (6.2%) and Ireland (5.9%) and in a number of East European Member States, which are catching up. Belgium (1.5%) performed below the EU average. Germany performed fairly weakly, due to a relatively low estimated growth for 2019. Italy brings up the rear (0.9%). 


FPB, SV, IWEPS, BISA: Regional economic prospects 
Institute of National Accounts: Regional accounts 
European Commission: Ameco 


Gross domestic product (GDP): the monetary value of the final goods and services produced in a given country or region over one year’s time. 
Real economic growth: the increase in GDP, expressed in real or constant prices, in which the impact of inflation has been filtered out. 
Recession: a negative real economic growth during two or more consecutive quarters. 

Publication date

23 July 2019

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