Wednesday, the National Bank of Belgium released flash estimates for the first quarter economic performance that showed gross domestic product falling 1.6% quarter-on-quarter on a seasonally and calendar adjusted basis. This came after a 1.7% decline in the final quarter of 2008.

Year-on-year, the GDP was down 3% in the first three months of the year, far worse than the 1% slump witnessed in the previous three-month period, which was revised from 0.8% fall estimated earlier.

In 2008, the Belgian economy grew 1% on a calendar-adjusted basis, after expanding 2.6% in 2007.

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