Belgium Economic Sentiment December 2017


Belgium: Consumer confidence moderates while business confidence plummets in December

December 20, 2017

Consumer confidence dropped in December to 2.0 points from 3.0 points in November. The fall in overall consumer sentiment largely stemmed from growing fears over future unemployment. Less optimistic perceptions among respondents about the general economic situation in the next 12 months also fueled the decline. The decline in these two components more than offset an improved outlook over personal savings in the coming year. Meanwhile, respondents’ sentiments about their future personal financial situation were unchanged.

Business confidence tumbled in December, decreasing to 0.1 points from 1.6 points in November, driven by an across-the-board deteriorating in sentiment. The retail trade sector was substantially more pessimistic due to a drop in projected orders. Sentiment also worsened in the manufacturing sector owing to a poorer outlook for demand, which prompted managers to revise down their forecasts. Economic conditions weakened marginally in the building industry, leading to a slight dip in expectations over future demand. While firms were less positive over their own activity in the business-related services sector, it was the only sector with overall sentiment in optimistic territory.

FocusEconomics panelists expect private consumption to expand 1.6% in 2018, which is up 0.2 percentage points from last month’s estimate. They project growth of 1.7% in 2019. Panelists expect fixed investment to expand 2.7% in 2018, which is up 0.2 percentage points from last month’s projection. For 2019, the panel sees fixed investment growing 1.8%.

Author:, Economist

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Belgium Economic Sentiment Chart

Belgium Economic Sentiment December 2017

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

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