1 sector in 10 optimistic
Belgian companies are exceptionally pessimistic about the future.
The semi-annual report by the Federation of Enterprises in Belgium is the most pessimistic in ten years.
The Belgian companies are exceptionally pessimistic about the future. This is the conclusion that can be drawn by the semi-annual economic report of the Federation of Enterprises in Belgium (VBO).
Only 9 percent of the economic sectors in Belgium see the current situation in Belgium as 'favourable'. This is the lowest rate of confidence in the economy since the VBO started its economic survey in 1999.
Almost all companies expect a slow-down in economic activity.
"It is unusual that there is so much general pessimism," says the employers' organisation.
Companies are sombre regarding employment, investments and the chance of going bankrupt. Belgium's National Bank earlier predicted that the Belgian economy would have a 0.2 percent negative growth next year. The VBO predicts that the negative growth will be three times higher.
Rudi Thomaes, the head of the VBO, is calling on consumers not to be overly cautious: "Money can and should roll over."
Wages have gone up through wage indexation and the wage accord reached earlier by the government and the social partners (employers and unions) includes measures to increase people's purchasing power. The Federation of Enterprises in Belgium hopes that people will spend the money and that it will not disappear under the mattress.