Ljubljana, 22 March (STA) - The business and consumer confidence indices rose by three and five points, respectively, in March over the month before as business and consumers expressed greater optimism about expectations for the economy in the coming 12 months.
The business confidence index was up 3 points over February, while the consumer confidence index rose 5 points. The former is still 1 point lower than in March of 2012, while the consumer confidence index is on par with that from a year ago, the Statistics Office said.
Business confidence was higher in services (2 points), retail (2 points) and manufacturing (1 point), while remaining flat in construction compared to the month before. At -13 points the business confidence index remains 11 points below the long-term average.
While business continue to be concerned about low demand and problems with financing, Slovenian consumers seem more optimistic about their spending prospects for the coming 12 months, as demonstrated by the index that is now 9 points above last year's average.
Consumers are increasingly upbeat about the prospects for the economy in the coming 12 months, with five of six sub-indices about their expectations showing growth.
As a result, consumers expect to spend more on large purchases in the coming 12 months, with the index of large purchases rising by five points.