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Belgium: Consumer sentiment improves in November; business pessimism continues to ease in October



November 20, 2020

The consumer confidence indicator produced by the National Bank of Belgium (NBB) rose to minus 15 in November, improving from October’s minus 17, despite the lockdown imposed on 2 November. Expectations on the future of the economy ameliorated, while unemployment concerns dissipated somewhat. Moreover, households’ expectations on savings improved while their outlook on their financial situation remained unchanged.

On a different note, NBB’s business confidence indicator came in at minus 8.5 in October, up from minus 10.8 in September, continuing the improving trend that started in May. The uptick came as pessimism eased in manufacturing, business-related services and trade industries. Contrastingly, the building industry became slightly gloomier in October.

FocusEconomics analysts project household spending to grow 5.0% in 2021, which is down 1.3 percentage points from last month’s forecast. In 2022, they see it expanding 3.6%. Meanwhile, our analysts see fixed investment expanding 6.7% in 2021, which is up 0.3 percentage points from last month’s forecast. In 2022, fixed investment is seen growing 5.9%.

Author: Frederico Teixeira de Abreu, Junior Economist