Ljubljana, 25 August (STA) - The business sentiment index fell by one point in August over July due to concerns in manufacturing and in services. Despite this the index was 12 points higher than in the same period a year earlier, the Statistics Office said on Wednesday.
While there has been an improvement in sentiment in the past year, businesses are still not as confident about their outlook as in the past. The index in August trails the long-term average by seven points, predominantly due to concerns in the construction sector.
The confidence index in manufacturing slid one point compared to a month earlier, although it was 21 points above the level in August 2009.
Manufacturing companies voiced more concern about the current situation than in August and they also slightly downgraded their three-month forecasts, the Statistics Office found in its survey.
In services, the confidence index fell by 2 points month-on-month as a result of weaker forecasts for the coming quarter. Despite the monthly drop, the index was up 9 points year-on-year.
The confidence index in retail saw the biggest monthly jump, at 4 points, as retailers express more optimism about the short-term outlook. The index was 22 points higher than in the same period last year.
Meanwhile, confidence in construction also rose 4 points in August, but was only 2 points above the level in August 2009. Moreover, the index trails the long-term average by 51 points.
Construction companies remain pessimistic about their current operations, although their expectations for the coming quarter have improved slightly.