Belgium Economic Sentiment


Belgium: Business confidence worsens while consumer confidence improves in December

December 23, 2014

The business confidence index elaborated by the National Bank of Belgium (NBB) declined from November’s minus 6.1 points to minus 6.9 points in December. The reading came in notably below the minus 5.7 points that the markets had expected. According to the NBB, the decline was mainly due to a deterioration in the manufacturing sector. Moreover, the Bank pointed out that after two consecutive months of improvement, confidence also weakened in the construction industry. Conversely, expectations regarding the retail trade sector improved compared to the previous month.

The consumer confidence index elaborated by the NBB increased from minus 14.0 points in November to minus 12.0 points in December. According to the NBB, this is the first time in six months in which consumers have become more optimistic regarding the expected economic developments in Belgium. Moreover, the Bank pointed out that consumers were, “less gloomy in December about both their future financial means and saving capacity.” Expectations regarding unemployment also improved, albeit only slightly.

FocusEconomics Consensus Forecast panelists expect fixed investment to expand 2.8% in 2015, which is up 0.6 percentage points from last month’s projection. For 2016, the panel sees fixed investment growing at 2.2%. FocusEconomics panelists expect private consumption to grow 1.2% in 2015, which is unchanged from last month’s estimate. For 2016, the panel also expects private consumption to grow 1.2%.

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Belgium Economic Sentiment Chart

Belgium Economic Sentiment December 2014

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

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