Unemployment development according to Belgian consumers 2018-2020

European banks adjust their monetary policies by taking into consideration the consumer confidence indicator. This indicator includes the consumer's forecasts regarding unemployment. In Belgium, consumers' forecasts on the unemployment for the year to come were rather contrasted from January 2018 to January 2020.

Indeed, early 2018, the balance of responses was negative. For instance, negative answers outweighed positive ones by 6 percentage points in January 2018. However, an overall shift in consumer forecasts appeared in early 2019. Positive forecasts regarding the unemployment situation in Belgium were outweighing the negative forecasts.

Although positive forecast did not increase steadily, the balance of consumer's responses reached 18 percentage points in September 2019. Nonetheless, in January 2020, moderate responses were found, the balance was at 8 percentage points.

Consumer forecasts on unemployment in Belgium from January 2018 to January 2020

Consumer forecasts unemployment
Jan '208
Dec '1911
Nov '197
Oct '1912
Sep '1918
Aug '1913
Jul '198
Jun '198
May '197
Apr '19 12
Mar '199
Feb '19 6
Jan '195
Dec '18 1
Nov '18-1
Oct '18-2
Sep '180
Aug '185
Jul '180
Jun '184
May '182
Apr '18 -3
Mar '18-5
Feb '18 -1
Jan '18-6
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Release date

February 2020



Survey time period

January 2018 to January 2020

Number of respondents

1,850 respondents

Method of interview

Telephone interview

Supplementary notes

Every month a completely different representative sample of 1,850 people is questioned about the macroeconomic situation in Belgium and their own financial position and consumer behavior. The sample is representative for the geographic, social and demographic differences in Belgium and they are asked to answer a qualitative questionnaire with their own assessment or expectation. The questionnaire is built around different topics; the Belgian economic situation, personal financial situation and personal attitude towards savings and consumer behavior.
Macroeconomic questions on unemployment and the Belgian economy, and personal questions about the financial position of the household and the savings of the household are used to calculate the consumer confidence indicator. The source explains: "For each question, calculations are performed to find the percentage of all participating consumers reporting an improvement (positive responses), the percentage reporting a deterioration (negative responses) and the percentage stating that there has been no change. In calculating these three percentages, responses are unweighted and the difference between the 'positive' and 'negative' percentages constitutes the balance (the response) for the question. For example, if the number of positive responses equals the number of negative responses the balance for the question is zero; conversely, a balance of +10 means that positive responses outnumbered negative responses by 10 percentage points."

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