Belgium Economic Sentiment January 2018


Belgium: Consumer confidence and business sentiment improve markedly in January

January 29, 2018

Consumer confidence jumped in January to 4.0 points from 2.0 points in December. The improved reading was driven solely by a markedly more optimistic outlook on the general economic situation over the next twelve months. This more than offset a downturn in views over unemployment and household savings for the same period. Meanwhile, consumers’ perceptions of their personal financial situations remained stable at the critical zero-point threshold that separates optimism from pessimism among consumers.

Business confidence shot up in January, rising to 1.8 points from 0.1 points in December. January’s result was underpinned by a broad-based improvement in sentiment. Sentiment regarding the business industry swung into positive territory thanks to upbeat demand expectations and a more positive assessment of total order books. The outlook on demand also brightened for the business-related services sector and the trade sector, improving overall sentiment in these industries. Meanwhile, the upturn in sentiment in the manufacturing industry was brought about by a more favorable appraisal of total order books.

FocusEconomics panelists expect private consumption to expand 1.5% in 2018, which is up 0.1 percentage points from last month’s estimate. They project growth of 1.4% in 2019. Panelists expect fixed investment to expand 2.9% in 2018, which is also up 0.1 percentage points from last month’s projection. For 2019, the panel sees fixed investment growing 2.3%.


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Belgium Economic Sentiment Chart

Belgium Economic Sentiment January 2018

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

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