Spain: Business confidence continues to improve in July
July 14, 2011
In July, the quarterly business confidence index (ICE, Indicador de Confianza Empresarial) published by the Association of Chambers of Commerce (Consejo Superior de Camaras de Comercio) stepped up from minus 16.2 points in April to minus 9.2 points. This rise marked the second consecutive improvement and saw the index returning to levels comparable to the second quarter of 2008. Despite the July improvement, the index remains below the 0-point threshold that separates optimistic from pessimistic territory. Nonetheless, business sentiment hovers above the April 2009 trough, when the index plunged to minus 27.6 points. The improvement in business confidence was the result of a strengthening in the expectations sub-index for the next three months (July-October), which rose from minus 11.8 points in April to minus 5.9 points in July. The improvement reflected better perceptions regarding future business prospects, unemployment and exports, which continue to drive economic growth. In addition, the current situation sub-index improved markedly, owing to the start of the summer season, which boosts economic activity in the tourism sector.