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Consumer, business confidence reaches four-year peak

GKI’s combined consumer and business confidence index climbed to -9.2 points in October from -11.7 points in September, the economic think tank’s latest gauge of sentiment, supported by European Union funding, shows.

The index rose to its highest seasonally-adjusted value in four and a half years.

The business confidence index rose to -5.2 points in October from -7 points in September.

The measure of confidence in the industrial sector fell slightly in October, though within the margin of error. Companies said their inventories grew and their assessment of production in the previous months improved. Overall stock of orders was unchanged, but stock of export orders grew.

In the construction sector, confidence improved in October as assessments of output improved but companies reported a stagnating stock of orders.

Retail and wholesale companies’ sentiment improved in October after deteriorating in September. Companies delivered better assessments off their trade positions and were more optimistic about future order stock. They still said stock of inventories was high.

More companies in the industrial sector planned to raise prices, but to a smaller degree. More retailers and wholesalers said they saw prices rising and at a faster rate. Most construction companies expected prices to fall.

The consumer confidence index rose to -20.6 points in October from -25 points in September. Households’ assessment of their own financial situations improved and more said they could make savings in the coming twelve months. More expected prices to rise. (MTI – Econews)