Belgium’s business confidence improved sharply in April and for a fifth consecutive month, survey data from the National Bank of Belgium showed Monday.
The business confidence index climbed to 4.4 from -1.0 in the previous month. Economists had expected the reading to weaken to -3.1.
The latest improvement was driven by stronger morale in the business services, mainly information technology, as well as manufacturing and construction sectors.
The business services index rose 6.7 points and the measures for the manufacturing sector and the construction industry climbed 5.6 points each. The confidence index for the trade sector dropped 2.7 points.
The assessment of the current situation improved in the services sector and entrepreneurs continued to be optimistic about the future outlook for general market demand.
Manufacturers gave a more favorable assessment for the current situation, especially for order book levels. They also revised upwards the forecasts for employment and demand.
The main improvement in the assessment in the building industry was with regards to demand prospects.
In the trade sector, forecasts for employment and for orders placed with suppliers were revised downwards.
The survey also showed that the seasonally adjusted capacity utilization rate climbed to 79.6 percent in April from 78.9 percent in January, thus returning to its end-2019 level.
The material has been provided by InstaForex Company – www.instaforex.com