The National Bank of Belgium (NBB) published hopeful figures at first sight last week. Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth is expected to rebound to 8 percent in the third quarter of 2020, after economic activity slipped by 3.5 and 12.1 percent respectively in the first two quarters. Geert Langenus of the NBB warned yesterday in The Morning on Radio 1, however, against excessive optimism. “After the initial recovery after the toughest corona measures have ended, we see in the latest economic indicators that the recovery is starting to falter again. This is due to the recent flare-up of the virus, but mainly due to the uncertainty among people: will I be able to keep my job, how long will this all take? “Many Belgians are already keeping their finger on the purse and spending less money, and in the long run that is bad news for many companies and the government.
This graph from Johan Van Gompel, lecturer at the University of Antwerp, shows perfectly how traffic jams keep up with the economic cycle.