Belgium: Leading indicators show mixed results
January 24, 2013
The January business confidence indicator published by the National Bank of Belgium (NBB) fell to minus 13.2 points. The reading came in below the minus 11.8 points witnessed in December and surprised market analysts on the downside, as they had expected the indicator to rise to minus 11 points. According to the NBB, the monthly deterioration was the result of a fall in confidence in both the manufacturing and construction sector.
Meanwhile, the NBB's January consumer confidence index rose to minus 23 points from the minus 25 points recorded in December, when the index had fallen to levels not seen since the global financial crisis. The reading marked the first improvement observed since September and, according to the Bank, the reading reflected the households' less gloomy assessment about the general economic situation for the next 12 months, and, consequently, the consumers' less pessimistic view on the labour market in the next 12 months.
Author: Ricardo Aceves, Senior Economist