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Belgium top of the productivity league

According to a recent report in the Financial Times, Belgium had the highest output per hour worked in the European Union in 2001. Citing figures released by the Conference Board, an independent economics research and forecasting organization, the report pointed out that Belgium was one of just three countries in the EU to outstrip the United States on this measure of productivity. Belgium’s output per hour worked was 112% of the US level, while France’s was 102% and that of the Netherlands 101%.

Another widely used index of productivity is gross domestic product per head. Here too, Belgium performed relatively well in 2001, with the third highest GDP per head in the EU, after Ireland and Denmark.

Impressive though last year’s figures are, they are by no means exceptional for the Belgian economy, however. In fact, Belgium is one of a select group of six countries whose labour productivity growth has been as high as, or higher than, that of the US between 1995 and 2001.

Reported by
20 February 2002

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