Bloomberg News

Belgian Consumer Confidence Plunges Most Since Fortis Collapse

November 18, 2011

Nov. 18 (Bloomberg) -- Belgian consumer confidence plunged in November by the most since the collapse of Fortis in 2008 as households became more pessimistic about the economic outlook amid the sovereign-debt crisis.

The consumer sentiment index for Belgium, the euro area’s sixth-largest economy, dropped to minus 14 from minus 7 in October, the Brussels-based National Bank of Belgium said today in an e-mailed statement. That’s the lowest since February 2010.

“The marked decline is undoubtedly partly due to the turmoil caused by tension in the euro area and the worsening economic forecasts,” the central bank said. “Consumers have been taking an increasingly gloomy view of macroeconomic prospects in particular.”

A sub-index on households’ assessments of the economy in the coming year dropped to minus 20, the lowest in two and a half years. A gauge of unemployment expectations rose to 36, the highest since June 2010.

--Editor: Andrew Clapham

To contact the reporter on this story: Jones Hayden in Brussels at jhayden1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Craig Stirling at cstirling1@bloomberg.net


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