Belgian masonry brick industry with export losses in 2009

2009 will go down as a dark year in the economic annals! The crash of the financial markets and the global economic crisis in the aftermath have hit the housing construction sector particularly hard. According to the statistics, the number of newbuild detached houses in Belgium fell by 14.4% compared to 2008. The number of building licences in 2009 was down 12.9% on the previous year.

1 General overview

The Belgian government has introduced different measures to support the hardest hit economic sectors. Lowering the value added tax from 21 to 6% for the first € 50 000 of the costs of a newbuild or the renovation of a house has no doubt ensured that the construction industry in Belgium has not suffered as badly as in other European countries. The drastic decline in the building industry in the neighbouring countries did, however, have an impact on Belgian exports. While the decline in overall sales on the domestic market was limited to -10%, exports experienced a 30-% drop in...

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