Between the sixties and today, the Gross Domestic Product had only fallen on three occasions: by 1.5 percent in 1975, 0.3 percent in 1981 and 1 percent in 1993.
If we take into account the second half of 2008, when the crisis began, the Belgian economy shrank by as much as 4 percent. There is some good news, though. Guy Quaden, the Governor of the Belgian National Bank, stresses that the third and fourth quarters last year showed a slight improvement, which is expected to continue this year. However, unemployment figures will keep on rising.
The National Bank expects the Belgian economy to recover and to record a growth between 1 and 1.5 percent during the whole of 2010.
Last year, Belgium faced 67,000 job losses, especially in the agricultural and industrial sectors and the building sector.