Belgium Economic Sentiment


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.

FocusEconomics Consensus Forecast panelists expect fixed investment to expand 2.6% in 2014, which is up 0.1 percentage points over last month’s projection. For 2015, the panel sees fixed investment growing 2.2%. Panelists expect private consumption to grow 1.3% in 2014, which is up 0.1 percentage points from last month’s projection. Next year, the panel expects that private consumption will grow 1.4%.

Author:, Senior Economist

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Belgium Economic Sentiment Chart

Belgium Economic Sentiment August 2014

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

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