More "winners" among Belgian companies than EU average after COVID crisis

According to a survey by the European Investment Bank (EIB), there are more "winners" among Belgian companies after the coronavirus crisis than the average in the EU.

The EIB and the National Bank of Belgium presented the results of the annual survey on Monday during a conference in Brussels. The survey was conducted among over 12,000 companies in the EU, 482 of which in Belgium, and 800 companies in the United States.

Notably, 40% of Belgian companies reported no decrease in revenue during the coronavirus pandemic in 2020-2021, and even expect to generate more revenue than before the pandemic. In the EU, the share of these "winners" is 33%, while in the US and Belgium it is around 40%.

Business investments are on the rise again, the survey shows. In comparison with the previous year, more Belgian companies say they are investing, but the pre-pandemic level of 2019 has not yet been reached.

"The energy price shock reminds me of the oil shocks of the 1970s," said Peeters.

EIB Vice-President Kris Peeters, a former minister for the Christian-Democratic party in Belgium, also noted that 42% of Belgian companies have invested in improving their energy efficiency. Energy costs are a major obstacle for companies. "The energy price shock reminds me of the oil shocks of the 1970s," said Peeters. ​ "In that period, US and EU energy production strongly depended on oil imports. Many countries ended up in a recession, but they did increase energy efficiency. Now we see the same developments."

Furthermore, it is noteworthy that 53% of Belgian companies say weather conditions are starting to impact their activities. More often than elsewhere in the EU, they have a strategy to adapt to physical risks (19% in Belgium, 14% in the EU) or have invested in solutions to prevent or reduce exposure to such threats (26% in Belgium, 20% in the EU).


EIB Vice-President Kris Peeters © BELGA PHOTO BRUNO FAHY

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