Business sentiment at nine-year high
At 10 percentage points, the business sentiment rose by 1.5 points from December and 6.2 points over a year ago. It was 12.4 points above the long-term average.
The latest monthly improvement in a trend that started in mid-2016 was driven by buoyant consumer confidence, which rose by 1.2 points, but confidence in manufacturing and services improved as well, respectively by 0.6 and 0.2 points.
On the other hand, the retail confidence indicator and the construction confidence indicator dropped marginally.