Belgian business, manufacturing and trade (By Sylodium Import-Export directory)

Belgian business confidence, a bellwether for the euro zone, rose slightly in July, broadly in line with expectations as sentiment improved in manufacturing and trade.

Belgium, the euro zone's sixth-biggest economy and one of its most open, exports a large number of semi-finished goods to the region's most powerful economy, Belgium's economy stagnated in the first three months of this year. It marked a fourth consecutive quarter of contraction or stagnation since the first quarter of 2012.

The business confidence index, often referred to as the leading indicator, rose to -12.0 from -12.8 in June, the central bank said on Thursday. A Reuter’s poll of 10 economists had produced a median forecast of -12.2, with a range from -13.3 to -11.0.


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