The confidence of Wallonia and Brussels heads of companies regarding the development of their activities has eroded, revealed the barometer of small- and medium-sized companies of Union des classes moyennes (UCM), as made public Monday. Economic activity has slowed down in the past three months, “confirming fears declared following the terrorist attacks in Brussels.”
Established every quarter, the UCM barometer measures the level of activity of small and medium-sized companies of the Wallonia-Brussels Federation, through several indicators. An index above 100 is a sign of a positive evolution in the environment, while an index of less than 100 represents negative development. The general index has a value of 98.2 for the second quarter, slightly higher than that of the first three months of the year (+0.4 points) and somewhat lower in relation to the second quarter of 2015 (-0.4).
Of the ten elements which make up the index, eight are below 100 and two are above. In this way, according to the 320 independent entrepreneurs and company managers surveyed, the volume of activity has regressed somewhat in relation to the first quarter (99.1; -0.3). Regarding activity for the next three months, the level of confidence of company heads is 100.9, thus generally positive. But this index has gone down two points since the beginning of the year.
There has been considerable decrease in confidence particularly as a result of “the terrorist attacks of March 22nd, (which) have generated an environment of fear which does not favour the presence of consumers in public places,” explained the UCM. For company managers, pessimism is higher in mid-2016 than it was one year earlier. Uncertainty is still considerable under the context of terrorist attacks, but also as a result of Brexit, was the barometer’s indication.