Belgium Economic Sentiment September 2017


Belgium: Consumer confidence hits 16-year high, while business confidence drops to over one-year low

September 23, 2017

Business confidence fell from minus 2.1 in August to minus 3.5 in September, the lowest level in a year and a half. The deterioration was largely the result of a downturn in the manufacturing cycle, caused by a downward revision to expectations. Also, the business-related services business climate was less optimistic in September. However, sentiment improved marginally in the building and trade industries. September’s business confidence result reinforced the dreary trend in business confidence in H1 as business sentiment has remained in negative territory since the start of the year.

Consumer confidence rose in September from 2.0 points in August to 3.0 points, the strongest print in over 16 years. Consumers were more optimistic about unemployment and maintained a stable positive view of the general economic situation while they were neutral about their financial situation and less positive about their ability to save.

FocusEconomics Consensus Forecast panelists expect fixed investment to expand 3.1% in 2017, which is up 0.4 percentage points from last month’s projection. For 2018, the panel sees fixed investment growing 2.5%, which is up 0.2 percentage points from last month’s estimate. Our panelists expect private consumption to expand 1.6% in 2017, which is up 0.1 percentage points from last month’s estimate. For 2018, the panel expects private consumption to grow 1.4%, which is unchanged from last month’s forecast.

Author:, Economist

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Belgium Economic Sentiment Chart

Belgium Economic Sentiment September 2017 1

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

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