Belgium: Business confidence stabilizes but consumer sentiment falls to one-year low
August 25, 2014
The business confidence index elaborated by the National Bank of Belgium (NBB) virtually stabilized in August. The indicator inched up from July’s minus 7.5 points to minus 7.3 points. August’s result was better than the minus 8.0 points the markets had expected. According to the Bank, more upbeat businesses in the construction and trade sectors compensated for more pessimistic firms in the services sector. Business confidence in the manufacturing sector was virtually unchanged over the previous month.
The consumer confidence index fell from minus 10.0 points in July to minus 11.0 points in August. The reading marked the lowest level since August 2013. The NBB pointed out that the drop in August stemmed from consumers’ deteriorating expectations of the overall economic outlook in the next 12 months and their personal financial situations. Conversely, consumers were less pessimistic regarding the labor market outlook than in the previous month.
Author: Ricardo Aceves, Senior Economist