Belgium: Forward-looking indicators decline in November
November 24, 2011
In November, business confidence fell to minus 12.2 points, according to the monthly business confidence survey published by the National Bank of Belgium. The decrease was stronger than both the minus 10.4 points observed in October and market expectations that had the index falling to minus 11.0 points. The November drop represented the lowest business confidence level since October 2009. The November survey showed that businesses' assessment of their current situation deteriorated over the previous months, especially in the manufacturing and trade sectors. Sentiment in the construction sector also deteriorated over the previous month, while business-related services improved. Simultaneously, the Bank's November consumer survey showed that the consumer confidence indicator nosedived to minus 14 points and more than reversed the gain observed in October, when the index rose to minus 7 points. According to the Bank, consumers showed a more gloomy assessment about economic prospects for the next 12 months and a more negative view of their own financial situation. In addition, respondents to the November survey signalled growing fears about job prospects.
Author: Ricardo Aceves, Senior Economist