Belgium: Consumers grow pessimistic in June; business confidence ticks up
June 25, 2018
The consumer confidence indicator produced by the National Bank of Belgium (NBB) dipped from 0.0 points in May to -3.0 points in June, the lowest reading in a year and a half and below the 0.0-point threshold which distinguishes pessimism from optimism among consumers. The decline in confidence was driven largely by pessimism toward the country’s macroeconomic situation, and was also reflected in consumers’ gloomier assessments of their personal financial situation and their ability to save. Meanwhile, consumers’ views on the domestic labor market grew slightly more optimistic.
On the other hand, the NBB’s business confidence survey recovered somewhat in June, ticking up to 0.6 points from 0.2 points in May. June’s improvement came amid greater optimism in the manufacturing industries, as well as in business-related services. The building and trade industries, meanwhile, recorded sharp deteriorations in sentiment.
Author: Christopher Thomas, Economist