Belgium: Leading indicators improve for second consecutive month
May 24, 2013
The business confidence indicator published by the National Bank of Belgium (NBB) rose to minus 12.4 points in May from minus 14.7 points in April. The monthly increase overshot market expectations that had the indicator rising to minus 14.1 points. According to the Central Bank, the improvement was the result of rising business sentiment in the manufacturing sector, while confidence in business-related services as well as in construction improved notably over the previous month.
FocusEconomics Consensus Forecast panellists expect fixed investment to decline 0.2% in 2013, which is down 0.4 percentage points from last month's projection. For 2014, the panel sees fixed investment expanding 2.0%.
In the same vein, the NBB's May consumer confidence indicator inched up to minus 19 points in May from minus 20 points in April. According to the NBB, the slight advance in May was broad-based as "there were signs of a small improvement for each of the four underlying components making up the indicator."
Panellists expect private consumption to grow 0.2% in 2013, which is unchanged from last month's projection. Next year, the panel anticipates that private consumption will grow 1.0%.
Author: Ricardo Aceves, Senior Economist