Belgium: Consumer confidence hits highest reading in a year in February
Consumer confidence came in at minus 8.0 in February, up from January’s minus 12.0. Since October, sentiment has been steadily improving, with this month’s print marking the best reading in a year.
Looking at the details of the release, nearly all subcomponents of the consumer confidence index strengthened. Consumers’ expectations for the next 12 months improved, especially regarding the labor market, with expectations regarding the economy and their personal financial situations also improving but at a lower rate. On the other hand, expectations of consumers’ saving intentions softened.
Overall, the increase in confidence can be attributed to a more favorable macroeconomic outlook: Global demand is improving and inflationary pressures are receding.
FocusEconomics analysts project household spending to grow at 0.6% in 2023, which is up 0.6 percentage points from last month’s forecast. In 2024, they see it expanding 1.8%.