Belgium Economic Sentiment


Belgium: Business confidence improves, while consumer confidence worsens in March

March 25, 2015

The business confidence index elaborated by the National Bank of Belgium (NBB) improved from February’s minus 8.3 points to minus 6.3 points in March. The reading came in above the minus 7.5 points that the markets had expected and marked a four-month high. According to the NBB, the result was due to a broad-based improvement in confidence.

The consumer confidence index elaborated by the NBB fell for the first time in four months from minus 5.0 points in February to minus 6.0 points in March. According to the NBB, consumers have become more pessimistic regarding the future economic situation in Belgium. In addition, the Bank pointed out that, “the fear of a rise in unemployment has grown somewhat for the first time in six months.” However, expectations regarding households’ saving capacity improvement for the fourth month in a row.

FocusEconomics Consensus Forecast panelists expect fixed investment to expand 3.0% in 2015, which is unchanged from last month’s projection. For 2016, the panel sees fixed investment growing at 2.6%. FocusEconomics panelists expect private consumption to grow 1.3% in 2015, which is up 0.1 percentage points from last month’s estimate. For 2016, the panel also expects private consumption to grow 1.3%.

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Belgium Economic Sentiment Chart

Belgium Economic Sentiment March 2015

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

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