The turnover of enterprises in Belgium, excluding agricultural and financial sectors, amounted to 408.9 billion euros in the fourth quarter 2021, i.e. a 24.3% increase compared to the same period the year before.
This large increase is of course due to the fact that in some economic sectors companies were again closed in the fourth quarter of 2020 (e.g. the ‘horeca’ and event sector) or faced with restrictive measures (e.g. trade), while in most sectors companies were fully active in the fourth quarter of 2021. Due to the significantly changed context, a comparison with the situation before the Covid-19 crisis is therefore more appropriate. Compared to the fourth quarter of 2019, the increase in turnover is 19%. Behind this increase, however, are very different evolutions.
In the fourth quarter of 2021 we see that in the important economic sectors, the largest increase in turnover, compared to the same period in 2019, is registered in trade (+25%). Two-thirds of this increase is explained by increased trade in consumer goods, machinery and intermediate products, one-third by the restructuring of a multinational that was still operating in NACE Section D in 2019. In the industry, we see an increase in turnover of 18%. In other main economic sectors such as professional, scientific and technical activities, the ICT sector and the sector ‘transportation and storage’, the increase is between 12 and 16%. Smaller turnover increases are seen in construction (+9%) and in administrative and support services (+3%), a sector that includes rental and leasing services and employment agencies. On the other hand, decreases in turnover are recorded in the sector ‘arts, entertainment and recreation’ (-4.5%) and in the ‘horeca’ sector (-2.2%), sectors that in the fourth quarter of 2021 were still faced with restrictive measures such as the use of the Covid Safe Ticket, limitation of the number of spectators and closing times in the ‘horeca’ sector.
The results for the fourth quarter 2021 are provisional. These results can be revised when additional data becomes available.