BRUSSELS: Belgium business confidence deteriorated in July after rising for five straight months, signaling stabilization due to divergent trends among the branches of activity surveyed.
The business confidence index dropped to -4.1 from -3.9 in June, which was the highest in nearly four years. The score was in line with economists’ expectations.
The confidence indicator for the manufacturing sector eased to -5.2 from -5 in the previous month. The results of the latest quarterly survey on production capacity in the factory sector revealed a slight drop in the capacity utilization rate to 79.6 percent in July from 80.3 percent in April.
In the business services sector, the index tumbled to 7.2 from 13.1, falling for the first time in six months. The decline was mainly due to a much less favorable assessment of firms’ current levels of activity.
Meanwhile, sentiment improved considerably in the trade sector, partly rebounding from last month’s major setback. The corresponding index surged to -6.7 from -13.8.
Confidence also improved in the building industry with the relevant index rising to -9.8 from -12.4.