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Consumer-business confidence reaches all-time low in January

  Economic think tank GKI’s combined business-consumer confidence index, compiled with the support of EU funding, reached a new historical low in January, falling to -39.8 points from -36.7 points in December and -19.6 points twelve months earlier, GKI said on Monday.

The business confidence index slipped to -30.5 points in January from 28.2 points in December and -9.7 points twelve months earlier.

In the industrial sector, confidence deteriorated at a slower rate in December, but the decline accelerated again in January. Assessments and projections of production both worsened. The assessment of stock of orders was also worse, though export orders improved. Fewer companies planned to make new hires.

Construction companies’ assessment of output and stock of orders was little changed, but fewer said they would raise staff numbers. The decline in confidence in the service sector slowed in January. The assessment of the pace of business worsened, but outlook and plans for new hires were unchanged. Trade companies’ confidence improved slightly in January after falling since July. They said selling positions were much improved and the outlook was better.

Industrial and building industry companies plan to raise prices, while most other segments expect a drop. Trade companies said they would raise prices less than in December. The outlook for the economy as a whole worsened in the trade and building sectors, but improved in the service sector.

The consumer confidence index dropped to -66.1 points in January from -60.8 points in December and -47.8 points twelve months earlier. About 88% of households said they could make no savings and fewer said they planned big-ticket purchases. Households’ fear of inflation worsened slightly and their outlook for the economy as a whole deteriorated. (MTI-Econews)