Belgium Economic Sentiment May 2021


Belgium: Consumer confidence turns positive in May, business optimism firms

May 25, 2021

The consumer confidence indicator produced by the National Bank of Belgium (NBB) came in at plus 4.0 in May, well above April's minus 6.0, amid looser restrictions. Encouragingly, the improvement was already visible before the 11 May announcement of a major ease in lockdown measures, according to the Bank. Notably, expectations regarding the future of the economy and unemployment saw significant improvements. In addition, households became more positive regarding their future savings.

NBB’s business confidence indicator rose to 6.5 in May, above April's 4.4. May’s print was the highest since July 2007. May’s reading was due to significant improvements in expectations for business-related services firms. In addition, the building industry became more optimistic, while optimism in the manufacturing industry firmed to a lesser extent. Despite remaining pessimistic, trade-related businesses’ expectations improved markedly from the previous month.

FocusEconomics analysts project household spending to grow 3.1% in 2021, which is down 0.7 percentage points from last month’s forecast. In 2022, they see it expanding 4.0%. Meanwhile, our analysts see fixed investment expanding 8.1% in 2021, which is up 0.6 percentage points from last month’s forecast. In 2022, fixed investment is seen growing 3.9%.

Author:, Junior Economist

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Belgium Economic Sentiment Chart

Belgium Economic Sentiment May 2021 0

Note: Business and consumer confidence indicators.
Source: National Bank of Belgium (NBB).

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