Belgian masonry brick industry in 2013

Since early 2013 the economy in the Eurozone has been picking up momentum again. However, not much of this was noticeable in Belgium, where the economy grew by just 0.1%. The cautious recovery was muted amongst other things by negative development on the labour market, one of the most important factors for domestic consumption. There will only be growth when domestic demand picks up again.

Following a steady fall in building approvals in Belgium from 61 083 in 2006 to 52 651 in 2008 and 46 796 in 2012, an increase to 49 192 could be registered in 2013. This is a 5-% increase on 2012 (Source: Statbel-SPF Economie). However, construction sites that should have been started up are not being pushed ahead. Reasons for this are restrictions in the financial sector and reservation in the granting of loans to prospective building owners.

The inclement weather in 2013 was probably the most important reason for the low level of building activity. Because of a long, hard winter that had...

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