Country Overview Belgium GDP pro capita in 2011 was $37.600, the 29th globally and the 17th excluding very small countries, with a population of 10.5 million people. Belgium is a founding member of the European Union and hosts the EU's headquarters, in Brusselles. Over the years it has capitalized on its central geographic location in Europe, highly developing transport network and diversified industrial and commercial activities. In the 2011, with light passenger registrations of 633.000, Belgium was the 23rd global market.
In March, the Belgium car market posted a double digit decline, offsetting the exciting year start and posting a first quarter sales volume flat from last year. Nissan and Seat share substantially increased while Ford recovered only partially.
Following the double digit increase posted in January, the car market in Belgium was up 3.9% in February, one of the few positive markets in continental Europe. Following the astonishing January, BMW dropped back.
Belgium car sales were up 13.3% in January. As effect of simultaneous drop of Spanish market, Belgium becomes the 5th largest car market in Europe. BMW posted a great performance surging in fourth place, behind Renault.
In December, the car market in Belgium posted a 54% drop from last year, when the rush for car incentives had pushed the market up. Full Year 2012 was 14.9% down. Renault closed the year with strong sales, outpacing Volkswagen in December.
The car industry crisis hit the Belgium car market this year with a year-to-date November decline of 7.5%, and with last month double digit drop of 11.4%. While Volkswagen confirmed the market leadership, BMW posted an outstanding month surging in 4th place.
Economic Environment Trading with EU countries are 74% of total. Belgian banks were severely affected by the international financial crisis in 2008 with three major banks receiving capital injections from the government. GDP declined by 2.7% in 2009, recovering at 2% in 2010 and 2011, when inflation rate surged at 3.1% and unemployment rate was 7.7%. The increased public expense increased Belgium's budget deficit near 100% of GDP.