Ljubljana, 24 September (STA) - The business sentiment index remained unchanged from the previous month in September and was six percentage points higher year-on-year. However, the index is still seven points lower than the long-term average, according to data published by the Statistics Office on Friday.
Despite a slight optimism elsewhere, the index was kept level mainly due to concerns in the construction sector.
The confidence index in manufacturing remained at the same level as in August and was 15 points higher than in September 2009, but four points lower than the long-term average.
Companies were more optimistic about the current situation in September than a month earlier and three-month forecasts also improved.
The retail confidence index fell by two percentage points compared to August, but was up 18 points year-on-year and two points higher than the long-term average, as concerns about the current situation picked up, while the outlook improved.
Competition meanwhile remains the biggest concern of retailers (46%), followed by low demand and high labour costs (both 43%).
Although the confidence index in construction improved in September (up five points from August and four points year-on-year), it was still as much as 46 percentage points lower than the long-term average.
In services, the confidence index shed one point over the previous month to stand two points higher year-on-year and 27 points lower than the long-term average.
The most companies in the services sector (43%) noted low demand as their biggest problem, while a third said they have trouble with finances.