The business barometre of the National Bank of Belgium, BNB, went down in July, mainly because of a slowdown in the manufacturing industry, the bank indicated on Wednesday in a press release. The gross overall synthetic curve went down by 1.9 point, from 0.6 point in June, to -1.3 point in July, but was still largely above its average of -7.2 points for the period since 1980.
The deterioration of the business climate in manufacturing, which wiped out last month’s rebound, is due mainly to a downward revision of the supply and employment forecasts, the BNB explained in its press release.
“In the business-related services sector, all the components making up the indicator are down. For instance, entrepreneurs have given a clearly more negative appraisal of their current level of activity and are even expecting a slight reduction in business activity over the next three months,” the BNB commented. “More generally, they reckon that market demand may even moderate.”
Construction went down for the second consecutive month in July, slipping by 1.4 point, mainly because of a decline in orders, less use of equipment and less favourable demand forecasts.
In trade, where the trend is clearly downward, business leaders are also pessimistic about the expected evolution of demand and are thinking of reducing their orders with suppliers.
The smoothed overall synthetic curve, which mirrors the underlying economic trend, has also slipped slightly – by 0.1 point.