By Ed Frankl


Confidence among Belgian businesses improved for the fourth month in a row in March, boosted by demand-driven optimism in the services sector.

The business confidence index stood at minus 7.6 in March, from minus 12.8 in February, data from the National Bank of Belgium showed Friday, beating expectations of minus 13.0 from economists polled by The Wall Street Journal.

Confidence rose across all categories polled by the bank's monthly survey--business-related services, manufacturing, building and trade. It improved considerably in the services sector, with firms more optimistic about the progression of their activity levels and general market demand, the bank said.

In manufacturing, an uptick in sentiment came on a better employment outlook and an improved assessment of total order books.

But while trade firms' sentiment ticked up slightly, the trend remains tentative, with pessimism last month tempered somewhat in March by a significant improvement in the demand outlook, the bank added.


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(END) Dow Jones Newswires

March 24, 2023 10:14 ET (14:14 GMT)

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