Has Belgium’s economy experienced enough contraction to consider the economy shrinking? And will the related exchange traded fund (ETF) be able to sustain?Belgium’s economy contracted by 1.6% in the first three months of 2009 from the previous quarter as the country officially entered recession, according to the Central bank. The slowdown brought the contraction in the Belgian economy over one year to 3%, and the country is now at its worst slowdown since 1980, reports the Daily Times.

Overall sentiment in the country does not reflect this news, however, as consumer sentiment remains quite positive. According to Forbes, Belgium’s consumer confidence index rose in April because the economic data that was not as dire as once thought.

The index is based on a monthly telephone survey of more than 1,000 consumers on their outlook for the country’s job and economic prospects as well as their own financial situation and ability to save money. Belgium locals are split upon whether the country will do better or worse next year.

  • iShares MSCI Belgium Investable Market Index (EWK): up 14.2% year-to-date

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