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.
Author: Nihad Ahmed, Economist