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Belgium Consumer Confidence Lowest Since 2009

Belgium's consumer confidence deteriorated sharply in November to its lowest level in more than three years, survey results from the National Bank of Belgium showed Tuesday.

The consumer confidence indicator dropped to -24, which was the lowest score since March 2009, from October's -17. Such a sharp month-on-month drop in the indicator has not been seen since November 2011, when mounting tension within the euro area caused widespread uncertainty, the bank said.

Previously, the indicator showed contractions of a similar magnitude, generally in reaction to negative and unexpected events, it added. Such events included the credit crisis at the end of 2008, the announcement of job losses in the automotive sector in 1997, 2003 and 2006, the 9/11 terrorist attacks in 2001 and the dioxin crisis in 1999.

Among the components, the biggest decline was witnessed in the measure reflecting consumers' view on the present economic situation in the country. The corresponding index fell to -28 from -16. Mirroring rising concerns over higher unemployment, the relevant index rose to 62 from 50.

The gauge measuring consumers' view on their financial situation also fell, down to -5 from -3. The index reflecting their view on savings slid to -2 from 3.

The clear decline in households' confidence on the economic situation and unemployment was undoubtedly due to the announcement of a series of company restructuring plans, the survey found. Further, the future loss of a vast number of jobs triggered by restructuring in the car assembly sector also impacted the picture.

by RTT Staff Writer

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