Belgium Economic Sentiment

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Belgium: Businesses and consumers more pessimistic in July

July 25, 2014

The National Bank of Belgium’s (NBB) business confidence index fell from minus 6.2 points in June to minus 7.5 point in July, which marked the lowest level in nine months. July’s result was worse than the minus 6.5 points the markets had expected. According to the Bank, firms in the manufacturing, trade and construction sectors were more pessimistic than in the previous month. Conversely, businesses in the services sector were more upbeat than in June.

The consumer confidence index fell from minus 7.0 pints in June to minus 10.0 points in July. The reading marked the lowest level since August 2013. The NBB stated that the significant fall in July stemmed from consumers’ deteriorating perceptions of the overall economic outlook in the next 12 months and of the employment situation. The NBB stated that consumers were less upbeat in July due to the job losses recently announced in the retail sector, particularly in supermarkets. Despite a gloomier macroeconomic view, consumers’ outlook their personal financial situation improved over 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 July 2014

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


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