By Maria Martinez 

Business sentiment in Belgium declined in September for the second consecutive month, after reaching a record high level in July.

Business confidence fell to 4.0 in September from 7.6 in August, data from the National Bank of Belgium showed Friday. July's reading of 10.1 was the highest since the indicator in its current composition was introduced in 1980.

Economists polled by The Wall Street Journal had expected the indicator to come in at 6.8.

The business climate declined in services and manufacturing, while it rose in trade and in construction, the report shows.

The sharpest fall was in services, with a decline to 8.0 in September from 16.4 in August. Entrepreneurs in this sector have a less optimistic view on their business activity, both current and future, the report said.

In the manufacturing industry, business sentiment fell to 3.0 in September from 7.2 in August. Business confidence varies according to the branch of activity, but in general companies reported a less favorable assessment of their order books and stock levels. They also have more reservations about demand forecasts, the report said.

Business sentiment is up marginally in construction, rising to 4.5 from 3.7 the previous month. Company managers are more upbeat about the number of new orders received and have given a more positive appraisal of their total order books. However, they mentioned less intensive use of equipment and weaker demand prospects.

Trade recorded the sharpest rise, from minus 1.1 in August to 2.2 in September, driven by better demand forecasts and, to a lesser extent, employment.


Write to Maria Martinez at


(END) Dow Jones Newswires

September 24, 2021 09:14 ET (13:14 GMT)

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