Belgium Business Confidence Weakens In May

Belgium's business confidence weakened slightly in May, after improving in the previous month, survey data from the National Bank of Belgium showed Monday.

The business confidence index dropped to 1.8 in May from 2.4 in April.

The latest decline was mainly driven by weaker morale in trade and the building industry segments.

The indicator for trade decreased to -7.9 in May from 0.3 in the prior month, due to a weakened outlook for demand and orders. Employment expectation also deteriorated, though slightly.

In the building industry, all the underlying components contributed negatively in May, with the corresponding index falling from 2.1 to -2.0.

At the same time, manufacturers gave a more favorable assessment for the current situation, especially for order book levels. They also revised upwards the expectations for demand.

The indicator for the business-relates services improved somewhat in May, due to a more positive assessment of order books and an improvement in demand forecast.

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