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Belgium: Economic sentiment improves in March

Christian Fernsby |
The consumer confidence indicator produced by the National Bank of Belgium (NBB) edged up by 1.0 point in March to minus 6.0 points.

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The print was underpinned by households’ more upbeat outlook on unemployment, along with improved views on their ability to save over the short-term.

Consumers were also less pessimistic about the general economic situation and their personal finances over the next year.

Meanwhile, the NBB’s business confidence indicator climbed up to minus 0.7 points in March, from minus 1.7 points in February.

An upturn in sentiment in the manufacturing, trade, and business-related services sectors underpinned the latest result, offsetting reduced optimism in the building industry sector.

FocusEconomics panelists expect private consumption to expand 1.1% in 2019, which is down 0.3 percentage points from last month’s estimate, and 1.6% in 2020.

Panelists expect fixed investment to expand 2.6% in 2019, which is up 1.0 percentage points from last month’s forecast, and 1.7% in 2020.

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