Cyprus Mail

Post-bailout economic sentiment exceeds pre-Lehman Brothers

The economic sentiment indicator rose 2.1 units in April, the month after Cyprus completed its adjustment programme in March, to 111,9, which was the highest since June 2008, mainly on improved consumer confidence, the University of Cyprus said.

The improvement in consumer confidence in April resulted from more optimistic expectations about future household finances and the situation in the labour market, the Economic Research Centre (ERC) of the university said in a statement on its website. Households are also more likely to save over the next 12 months.

Business confidence worsened in services and improved in all other sectors, the ERC said. The marginal drop in services resulted from a slightly worse evaluation of the current situation of interviewed companies which more than offset an expected pick-up in demand. Business confidence in services is “much higher compared to other sectors,” the ERC added.

A less negative evaluation of sales over the past three months combined with more optimistic sales expectations over the next three months, allowed business confidence in the retail trade to improve, the ERC said.

In construction, business confidence improved slightly on expectations of stronger employment over the coming months, the ERC said adding that it continued to remain weak compared to other sectors.

Business confidence also improved in manufacturing mainly on less pessimistic evaluation of the current order book and an expected increase in incoming orders over the next three months, the ERC said.

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