Ljubljana, 24 March (STA) - Business sentiment improved slightly in March compared to a month before. The seasonally-adjusted indicator was up one percentage point over February and 18 percentage points higher compared to a year before, the Statistics Office said on Wednesday. The main reason was improved manufacturing confidence indicator.
Confidence in manufacturing increased by 3 percentage points compared to February 2010, up 28% over March 2009. Expectations for the coming three months are showing signs of decline, with the exception of employment expectations, which remained level.
In retail, confidence increased by 2 percentage points on monthly level and 16 percentage points year-on-year. The main limiting factors in retail were quoted as competition (48%), low demand (44%) and high labour costs (42%).
Confidence in construction meanwhile plunged six percentage points over February, and 14 percentage points year-on-year. Employment expectations remained level.
The main limiting factors in this sector were low demand (62%) and competition (56%).
The confidence indicator in services was also down in March. It lost one percentage point at a monthly level, and twelve percentage points year-on-year. Expectations for the coming three months are showing signs of decline, the Statistics Office said.