Belgium Economic Sentiment May 2016


Belgium: Business confidence deteriorates, but consumer confidence stabilizes in May

May 19, 2016

The business confidence index elaborated by the National Bank of Belgium (NBB) edged down from minus 2.4% in April to minus 2.8% in May. The result reflected a deterioration in the manufacturing industry that more than offset an improvement in the remaining three indicators of the index.

Meanwhile, the NBB consumer confidence index remained stable in May at the minus 8.0% reading tallied in April. May’s result represents the first time in four months in which the indicator has not declined?. The reading reflected a mixed assessment of Belgium’s economic outlook. On one hand, fears of growing unemployment over the next year have grown notably while the expectations of the general economic situation have deteriorated marginally. On the other hand, Belgian consumers are more upbeat regarding their own personal situation and savings expectations improved marginally.

FocusEconomics Consensus Forecast panelists expect fixed investment to expand 0.5% in 2016, which is up 0.1 percentage points from last month’s projection. For 2017, the panel sees fixed investment growing 2.6%. Our panelists expect private consumption to expand 1.1% in 2016, which is unchanged from last month’s estimate. For 2017, the panel expects private consumption to grow 1.3%.

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Belgium Economic Sentiment Chart

Belgium Economic Sentiment May 2016

Note: Business and Consumer Confidence Indicators.
Source: National Bank of Belgium (NBB).

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