Belgium: Leading indicators point to different directions
May 23, 2014
The National Bank of Belgium’s (NBB) business confidence indicator fell from minus 4.6 points in April to minus 6.8 points in May. May’s reading was even worse than the minus 5.2 points the market had expected and marked the lowest print in seven months. According to the Bank, businesses in the manufacturing, construction, and trade sectors were less optimistic than in the previous month. The “business-selected” sector was the only one in which confidence improved over the previous month.
On a positive note, the consumer confidence indicator rose from minus 9.0 points in April to minus 6.0 points in May. According to the NBB, the rise in consumer confidence was largely due to households’ less pessimistic assessment of the country’s economic outlook. In addition, consumers’ expectations regarding the employment situation improved notably over the previous month.
Author: Ricardo Aceves, Senior Economist