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Trend in the financial structure and results of firms in 2008


  • David Vivet

    (National Bank of Belgium, Microeconomic Information Department)


The article looks at the financial situation of non-financial corporations in Belgium over the period running from 1 January to 31 December 2008. Because of the contrasting economic trends during that period, the analysis is somewhat blurred. Nevertheless, the data collected still give a good idea of the resistance capacity of firms at the beginning of the recession. For the year 2008 as a whole, growth of the total value added generated by Belgian non-financial corporations amounted to 1.8 p.c. (in current prices), well down on previous years. Meanwhile, operating costs grew more quickly than value added, resulting in a drop in operating profit for the first time since 2001. As far as the financial position of firms is concerned, there was a widespread decline in profitability and repayment ability in 2008, due to the economic downturn. On the other hand, solvency ratios continued to rise as a result of newly-invested capital. Finally, a distribution analysis shows that a large proportion of firms are in an unfavourable situation and that the dispersion of ratios has widened over the last ten years.

Suggested Citation

  • David Vivet, 2009. "Trend in the financial structure and results of firms in 2008," Economic Review, National Bank of Belgium, issue iv, pages 59-81, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbb:ecrart:y:2009:m:december:i:iv:p:59-81

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Axel Börsch-Supan & Christina Benita Wilke, 2003. "The German Public Pension System: How it Was, How it Will Be," MEA discussion paper series 03034, Munich Center for the Economics of Aging (MEA) at the Max Planck Institute for Social Law and Social Policy.
    2. Axel H. Börsch-Supan & Christina B. Wilke, 2003. "The German Public Pension System: How it Was, How it Will Be," Working Papers wp041, University of Michigan, Michigan Retirement Research Center.
    3. Jonathan Kings & Edouard Turkisch & Nick Manning, 2007. "Public Sector Pensions and the Challenge of an Ageing Public Service," OECD Working Papers on Public Governance 2, OECD Publishing.
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    More about this item


    firms’ results; financial structure; sectoral analysis; distribution analysis;

    JEL classification:

    • D39 - Microeconomics - - Distribution - - - Other
    • G30 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - General
    • L60 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Manufacturing - - - General
    • L80 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Services - - - General


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