Economic sentiment in Cyprus improved slightly in March, as the Economic Sentiment Indicator increased by 0.2 points compared with February 2023. The marginal increase was driven by confidence gains in industry, according to the Economic Research Centre, of the University of Cyprus.

The survey’s results, published on Wednesday, show that the Services Confidence Indicator remained stable at the level reached in February, as the improved views on the past business situation and future demand were offset by less favourable assessments of past demand.

The Retail Trade Confidence Indicator decreased slightly, mainly as a result of downward revisions in sales expectations, while the drop in the Construction Confidence Indicator was largely driven by a deterioration in firms’ assessments of the order book levels.

The increase in the Industry Confidence Indicator mainly resulted from improved assessments of the stocks of finished products and upward revisions in production expectations.

According to the Economic Research Centre, the Consumer Confidence Indicator remained unchanged at the level observed in February. In March, consumers assessed their recent financial conditions less favourably, but revised their expectations about the economic conditions in Cyprus upwards. Moreover, consumers’ expectations about their future financial conditions and consumers’ intentions to make major purchases stayed broadly stable.

In March, economic uncertainty in Cyprus declined further as a result of the lower levels of uncertainty observed among consumers and among firms in services and manufacturing. Uncertainty in retail trade increased further, while uncertainty in construction was almost unchanged relative to the level registered in February.