By Maria Martinez 

Belgian business sentiment rose slightly in January, recovering for the second consecutive month, data from the National Bank of Belgium showed Monday.

Business confidence in Belgium went up to minus 7.5 in January from minus 8.4 in December. This compares with a forecast of minus 6.5 by economists polled by The Wall Street Journal.

The increase is mainly due to the upturn in construction and, for the second consecutive month, in the services sector. On the other hand, businesses appeared more pessimistic in the trade sector and in the manufacturing industry, the National Bank of Belgium said.

The economic situation picked up in the building industry in January, and the indicator rose to minus 8.0 from minus 13.0 in December.

Confidence also gained strength in the services sector, albeit at a slower pace than observed in December, with an increase to minus 10.2 in January from minus 13.1 in December.

In the trade sector, the modest decline to minus 25.0 from minus 24.6 in December is a result of more subdued prospects for employment and demand.

For the first time since June, the indicator slipped for the manufacturing sector, although only very marginally, to minus 5.4 from minus 5.1. Appraisals of order books have deteriorated and business leaders have a more negative vision of anticipated trends in demand over the next three months, the report said.


Write to Maria Martinez at


(END) Dow Jones Newswires

January 25, 2021 09:14 ET (14:14 GMT)

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