Business Confidence Wavers, Consumer Sentiment Improves


Sentiment among businesses deteriorated but improved for consumers in December, the latest gauge of confidence by economic research institute GKI shows.


The combined measure of business and consumer confidence stood at -1.8 points in the last month of the year, edging down from 0.2 points in November. GKI’s business confidence index slipped to 4.4 points from 9.1 points as sentiment worsened in all branches. In the industrial sector, production outlooks weakened while inventories grew. However, assessments of order stocks improved. Outlooks and order stock were worse in the construction sector, for both building and civil engineering companies. In the commerce sector, assessments of sales positions and order stocks worsened “significantly”, GKI said. Service sector companies were less optimistic about turnover in the coming period. The consumer confidence index rose to -19.4 points from -25.1 points. More households said their financial situations had improved and more could make savings. The number that planned big-ticket purchases grew. GKI’s gauge of sentiment is supported by European Union funding.


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