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GKI-Erste consumer, business confidence nears all-time low

GKI-Erste’s combined consumer and business confidence index slipped to -26.8 points in January from -24.6points in December, nearing its all-time low of -27.6 points in November 2009.

Among businesses, expectations in the industrial and construction sectors were unchanged from December, but the outlook for trade and services companies worsened.

In the industrial sector, the outlook for production and for stock of orders worsened, but the gauge of inventories and production in the recent period improved. Industrial companies’ assessment of export orders was unchanged.

More industrial companies planned to make new hires in January, but the propensity to increase headcount fell in all other sectors.

GKI’s consumer confidence index reached -56.6 points in January, just over the -56.9 points in September 2009. Households’ assessment of their own financial situations worsened but slightly more said they expected to be able to make savings in the coming year. A few more said they could buy big-ticket consumer products in the future.

Consumers were more optimistic about the future than they were in their assessment of the past.