Belgium: Consumer confidence soars in October to over 16-year high; business confidence rebounds to positive territory
October 24, 2017
Consumer confidence rose in October to 4.0 points from 3.0 points in September, the strongest print since July 2001. Consumers’ outlook on the economic situation was much more optimistic, and their perspective on unemployment improved as well. At the household level, consumers were more optimistic about their financial situations over the next year and their intention to save was unchanged from last month.
Business confidence recovered significantly in October, rising to 0.5 from minus 3.5 in September. The improvement brings the index back into positive territory for the first time since January. The recovery was largely driven by a strong uptick in sentiment in the manufacturing industry on the back of more positive forecasts for demand and employment, although it nonetheless remains pessimistic. Furthermore, change to sentiment in the building industry was also less pessimistic. Lastly, while poorer prospects for output and demand weakened confidence in the retail trade sector, survey respondents from business-related services were more optimistic about current activity levels and market demand expectations.
Author: Lindsey Ice, Economist