Belgium Economic Sentiment


Belgium: Business confidence inches up and consumer confidence rebounds markedly in November

November 24, 2015

The business confidence index elaborated by the National Bank of Belgium (NBB) inched up from October’s minus 4.0 points to minus 3.9 points in October. The result came on the back of increases in the building industry and business-related services because market demand forecasts and appraisal of firms’ current level of activity were revised upwards. Gains in these two components, however, were offset by drops in the remaining two components, manufacturing and trade.

Meanwhile, the consumer confidence index elaborated by the NBB improved notably in November, rising from October’s minus 8.0 points to minus 4.0 points. According to the NBB, the result reflected increased optimism regarding the general economic situation in the country and lower unemployment prospects. However, the NBB noted that the consumer confidence survey was conducted almost entirely before the 13 November Paris terrorist attack. While not noted in the NBB’s press release, the lockdown in Belgium that came shortly after the Paris attacks is likely to weigh on consumer confidence in the coming months.

FocusEconomics Consensus Forecast panelists expect fixed investment to expand 2.0% in 2015, which is down 0.1 percentage points from last month’s projection. For 2016, the panel sees fixed investment growing at 1.0%, which is also down 0.1 percentage points from last month’s forecast. Our panelists expect private consumption to expand 1.7% in 2015, which is down 0.2 percentage points from last month’s estimate. For 2016, the panel expects private consumption to grow 1.2%, which is down 0.1 percentage points from last month’s projection.

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Belgium Economic Sentiment Chart

Belgium Economic Sentiment November 2015

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

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