Belgium: Business and consumers less pessimistic in July
July 24, 2013
The National Bank of Belgium's (NBB) business confidence indicator rose to minus 12.0 points in July (June: -12.8 points) and was better than market expectations, which had seen the indicator edging up to minus 12.2 points. According to the Central Bank, the monthly increase reflects more upbeat sentiment in the manufacturing sector and in trade. In contrast, businesses' confidence in construction and business-related services fell over the previous month.
FocusEconomics Consensus Forecast panellists expect fixed investment to decline 1.7% in 2013, which is down 0.7 percentage points from last month's projection. For 2014, the panel sees fixed investment expanding 1.4%.
Consumer sentiment also improved in July. The Central Bank's consumer confidence indicator rose to minus 16 points, up from minus 18 points in June. The July reading marks the highest level since September 2012. According to the NBB, consumers have a less pessimistic view on the economic outlook and their opinions about future job prospects are not as negative as in the previous month. In contrast, households are more pessimistic about their personal financial situation.
Panellists expect private consumption to grow 0.1% in 2013, which is down 0.1 percentage points from last month's projection. Next year, the panel anticipates that private consumption will grow 0.7%.
Author: Ricardo Aceves, Senior Economist