Belgium: Economic sentiment slumps in March as Covid-19 bites
The consumer confidence indicator produced by the National Bank of Belgium (NBB) fell from minus 4 in February to minus 9 in March, its lowest point in five months. Although the deterioration in confidence has been influenced by the Covid-19 pandemic, the NBB highlighted that the survey was completed on 16 May and therefore does not reflect the full extent of the crisis on consumer prospects.
On the other hand, the NBB’s business confidence, completed on 24 March, fell by 8.2 points to -10.9 points in March, the sharpest monthly drop ever recorded. Sentiment in business-related services and trade sectors turned markedly pessimistic, while pessimism in the manufacturing sector deepened. Meanwhile, sentiment in the building industry decreased only slightly in comparison, as activities in the sector have been less affected by restrictions.