Belgium: Forward-looking indicators dip in August
August 27, 2012
In August, the business confidence indicator published by the National Bank of Belgium (NBB) fell to minus 11.8 points, down from the 11.3 points recorded in July, when the index improved for the first time after four consecutive deteriorations. That said, the figure overshot market expectations that had the index falling further to minus 12 points. According to the Bank, the monthly drop was broad-based, reflecting decreasing confidence in almost all sub-sectors with the exception of the manufacturing sector, which strengthened for a second consecutive month. Meanwhile, the NBB's August consumer confidence indicator dropped to minus 16 points, which was below both the minus 13 points recorded in July and market expectation that saw the index improving to minus 12 points. The reading represents the lowest level in six months. According to the Bank, the August survey showed that consumers are once again showing bleaker expectations regarding the overall economic situation for the next 12 months and a more gloomy assessment of their personal financial standing. In addition, respondents to the survey were more concerned about an increase in unemployment in the year ahead.
Author: Ricardo Aceves, Senior Economist