By Maria Martinez
Business sentiment in Belgium fell slightly in December, data from the National Bank of Belgium showed Thursday.
Business confidence decreased to 3.6 in December from 4.2 in November.
A breakdown of the December print showed a considerable drop in sentiment in the services sector, confirming November's decline. In the other segments, only marginal changes were observed: upward in manufacturing and downward in building industry and the trade sector, the National Bank of Belgium said.
In the services sector, confidence fell to 10.2 from 15.3 the previous month. All subcomponents deteriorated in services, particularly firms' outlook on activity.
In building industry, the slight decline to 1.2 in December from 2.3 in November was mainly due to a contraction in order books and reduced use of available equipment.
In the trade sector, forecasts for employment and orders placed with suppliers were revised down. Sentiment in the sector fell to minus 3.5 in December from minus 2.4 in November.
In manufacturing industry, the only branch of activity where business confidence hasn't wavered, the indicator rose to 3.1 in December from 2.5 the previous month. The improvement in the indicator was entirely due to a more favorable assessment of stock levels.
Write to Maria Martinez at firstname.lastname@example.org
(END) Dow Jones Newswires