Belgium Business Confidence Rises Again in February

Belgian business sentiment rose in February for the third consecutive month, data from the National Bank of Belgium showed Monday.

Business confidence in Belgium increased to minus 4.4 in February from minus 7.5 in January. This compares with a forecast of minus 6.0 by economists polled by The Wall Street Journal.

The business climate has strengthened across all sectors, albeit more modestly in the manufacturing industry, the National Bank of Belgium said.

The economic situation has improved in services, thanks to a more positive assessment of the outlook for market demand and firms' activity, the central bank said.

In construction, company managers see a more favorable picture in terms of order books, as well as forecasts for business activity, the bank said.

The strengthening of confidence in the trade sector is based on an improvement in prospects for employment and demand, while forecasts for orders placed with suppliers have contracted slightly, according to the National Bank of Belgium

The more modest rise in the confidence indicator in the manufacturing industry stems from a more unfavorable assessment of stock levels, which are considered to be higher than normal, it said.

Write to Maria Martinez at maria.martinez@wsj.com


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  02-22-21 0914ET
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