What do we see?
The Domestic Material Consumption (DMC) indicates the net amount of materials consumed by the Flemish economy. This figure is calculated using the following formula:
Domestic Material Consumption (DMC) = Direct Material Input (DMI) – physical exports (EXP)
In other words, we look at the material input in Flanders and subtract the physical export of materials. Those exports can take place in the form of materials, intermediate goods and finished products.
In the period between 2002 and 2018, material consumption in Flanders remained relatively constant. During the same period we also see an increase in the material input and exports. The increase in material input can therefore be put down to more exports instead of an increase in domestic consumption. At the same time we see significantly more materials being imported than exported. This means that, based on weight, Flanders has a trade deficit.
Finally, we see that the Flemish economy is becoming less and less tied to material consumption. This can be explained by the shift in the economy towards a larger service sector and the outsourcing of material-intensive production steps to other countries.
What’s the aim?
By dividing the size of the economy by the Domestic Material Consumption (DMC) we arrive at efficiency or productivity indicators. These indicators measure the ability to produce the same economic output with fewer materials. An increase in productivity indicates better environmental and economic performance and therefore also better competitiveness. In a circular economy, material consumption decreases.
What does this indicator measure?
The DMC looks at what materials are directly consumed in Flanders. It is an important measure to determine the future amount of waste and emissions, as all consumed materials are sooner or later converted into waste or emissions. The DMC is calculated using the economy-wide material flow accounts (EW-MFA). These are official statistics that every member state of the European Union has to report to Eurostat. For Flanders, the DMC has to be estimated based on these statistics.