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Belgium Economic Sentiment May 2021

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

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.

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