BRUSSELS (dpa-AFX) - Belgium's business confidence improved in September, recovering from a plunge in the previous month, as morale strengthened in manufacturing and trade, survey figures from the National Bank of Belgium showed Friday.
The business confidence rose to -2.2 from -3.1 in August. Economists had forecast a score of -2.4.
Confidence improved in the manufacturing after two successive declines and was based on a much better assessment of total order books and, partly, on a more optimistic outlook for employment and demand.
The trade industry witnessed improvement in confidence after three straight months of weakening. Retailers are also expecting demand and employment to improve over the next three months.
Meanwhile, morale deteriorated in the business services sector solely due to a sharp deterioration in forecasts for companies' own activity.
In the building industry, the number of new orders dropped and demand forecasts were markedly weak, the survey said.
Copyright RTT News/dpa-AFX