Belgium: Consumer confidence wanes further in November, while business confidence improves slightly
The consumer confidence indicator produced by the National Bank of Belgium (NBB) came in at plus 1.0 in November, falling from October’s plus 4.0 result. Although November’s reading remained in optimistic territory, it marked a seven-month low, and inched down closer towards the 0-threshold that separates optimism from pessimism among consumers. Households’ views on the economic situation in the country for the next year turned sour in November for the first time in seven months and dropped to its lowest level since November 2020. Moreover, their views on their future financial situation remained pessimistic amid a surge in new Covid-19 cases. Meanwhile, expectations of unemployment in the country improved slightly over the previous month.
Meanwhile, despite a gloomy domestic situation, the NBB’s business confidence index improved in November, coming in at plus 4.2 following October’s 4.0 reading. The slightly brighter outlook was mainly due to an improvement in both the manufacturing and building industries.
FocusEconomics analysts project household spending to grow 4.2% in 2022, which is down 0.1 percentage points from last month’s forecast. In 2023, they see it expanding 2.7%. Meanwhile, our analysts see fixed investment expanding 3.1% in 2022, which is up 0.1 percentage points from last month’s forecast. In 2023, fixed investment is seen growing 2.3%.