Belgium sees record growth in disposable income
Wage indexation due to high inflation led to record growth in disposable income in Belgium in 2022. Flanders experienced the strongest growth, with net disposable income per inhabitant 4,000 euros higher than in Brussels and Wallonia. The figures were released on Friday by the Institute for National Accounts and the National Bank of Belgium.
Disposable income per person fell during the pandemic, but a recovery followed in 2021 that accelerated in 2022. For Belgium as a whole, disposable income rose by 4.3 per cent in 2021 and 6.9 per cent in 2022.
At regional level, the strongest increase was observed in Flanders, where there was a catch-up in 2021 (+4.9 per cent) that grew in 2022 (+7.4 per cent), the institutions said in a press release. As a result, differences between the regions widened. The net disposable income in Flanders was 26,567 euros in 2022, compared to 22,588 euros in Brussels and 22,513 euros in Wallonia.
Net disposable income includes wages, investments and social benefits, among others, minus costs such as taxes and insurance.
Consumer spending also increased in 2022, driven by rising prices. Growth was strongest in Brussels, at 14.1 per cent. This is put down to the fact that Brussels households spend proportionately more on housing and energy. The share of spending on culture and leisure also rose faster in Brussels than in the other regions.
The increase in consumption in Brussels was much stronger than that of income, meaning Brussels residents were able to save less.
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