Business confidence slumps
10 August 2004, MADRID - The confidence of businesses in the Spanish economy has worsened this summer, falling to the lowest level since the start of 2003.
10 August 2004
MADRID - The confidence of businesses in the Spanish economy has worsened this summer, falling to the lowest level since the start of 2003.
For this third quarter, the confidence rating stands at 5.3 points, 12 points down on the second quarter and two lower than at the same period last year, according to the Business Confidence Indicator (ICE) drawn up by Chambers of Commerce.
Based on the opinions of more than 4,000 businesses, the ICE points to the slow recovery of European economies, the weakness of domestic demand, and the significant increase in competition for the gloomy outlook.
The study also shows a slight stagnation in business activity, which is attributed to a need to change the business pattern to give more emphasis to exports and investment.
While export expectations are lower than normal, companies say they are continuing to create new jobs, albeit at a slower rate than at the same time last year.
Prospects are down for all sectors with the exception of the hotel and catering and tourism segment, which is slightly up on the same period last year.
Confidence in the industrial sector is down from 12.7 points in the second quarter to 2.6.
In construction it is also slightly lower, although perspectives for the level of business remain higher than average adds the report. Most pessimistic of all is the commercial sector.
The 'other services sector', which covers leisure to telecommunications, has also seen a big fall in confidence to less than half of previous levels.
Based on the size of companies, all see a worsening of the economy, bar the larger ones and they only expect it to remain at about the same levels.
[Copyright EFE with Expatica]
Subject: Spanish news