Belgium Business Confidence Reaches Record High in July
By Maria Martinez
Business sentiment in Belgium increased in July for the eighth
consecutive month, reaching a record high amid the easing of
Business confidence rose to 10.1 in July from 9.8 in June, data
from the National Bank of Belgium showed Monday. The reading, which
is the highest since the indicator in its current composition was
introduced in 1980, is slightly below the forecast of 10.3 from
economists polled by the Wall Street Journal.
The increase conceals contrasting trends between branches of
activity, the central bank said. The business climate is improving
in the manufacturing industry and even more strongly in the trade
sector. In contrast, confidence among company managers has dropped
back in services and most notably in the building industry.
The upturn is gaining ground in the trade sector, rising to
minus 0.2 from minus 3.5 thanks to the recovery in demand forecasts
and those for orders placed with suppliers, the report said.
The improvement in confidence in the manufacturing sector, in
which the index rose to 10.0 from 8.8 in June, is almost
exclusively based on a much more favorable appraisal of stock
levels given the summer season, the National Bank said.
In the building industry, however, all the indicators are
pointing downwards. This made the building industry index fall to
5.8 in July from 9.3 in June.
In the services sector, the big drop in forecasts for activity
have been almost fully offset by a brighter view from entrepreneurs
of their current level of activity. The index fell slightly to 18.1
in July from 18.7 in June.
Write to Maria Martinez at email@example.com
(END) Dow Jones Newswires
July 26, 2021 09:14 ET (13:14 GMT)
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