Business confidence took a hit in September. The sharp deterioration in the business climate affects all the branches of activity covered by the National Bank of Belgium (NBB) survey, with the exception of construction.
The gross global synthetic business confidence curve lost six points from August to -11.8. This is clearly below its average since 1990, which is -5.2.
The loss of trust is particularly steep in the trade, notes the BNB. Demand forecasts have collapsed there, after recovering in August, and those relating to orders from suppliers are down again. The downward revision to job prospects is a little less marked.
Note that the vehicle trade automobiles is an exception since the confidence indicator there has recovered.
In L’manufacturing industry, demand prospects have also darkened significantly. The appreciation of the order book, which shows a significant decline for the second month in a row, and job prospects are also down in this sector.
The business climate in the sector services also suffers from much more unfavorable forecasts concerning both the firm’s own activity and general market demand. On the other hand, entrepreneurs expressed a more positive opinion on the recent development of their activity, according to the BNB.
Finally, the industry construction stands out since the indicator held steady overall and demand forecasts improved. Moreover, notes the BNB, the overall smoothed synthetic curve, which reflects the underlying economic trend, continues to bend.