Belgium: Consumer confidence and business sentiment improve markedly in January
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.