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Belgium consumers grow pessimistic, businesses optimistic in August

Staff Writer |
The consumer confidence indicator produced by the National Bank of Belgium (NBB) dipped from 0.0 points in July to minus 3.0 points in August.

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The decline was mainly due to consumers’ more pessimistic views over the general economic and unemployment situation in the year ahead. Despite the drop, consumer confidence remained above the historical average.

On the other hand, the NBB’s business confidence indicator rose from minus 1.3 points in July to minus 0.3 points in August.

The improvement came on the back of greater optimism in the manufacturing, trade and business-related services sectors, which more than offset a mild deterioration in sentiment in the building industry.

FocusEconomics panelists expect private consumption to expand 1.5% in 2018, which is down 0.1 percentage points from last month’s estimate. They project growth in private consumption of 1.8% in 2019.

Panelists expect fixed investment to expand 2.6% in 2018, which is down 0.1 percentage points from last month’s projection. For 2019, the panel sees fixed investment growing 2.5%.

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