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Belgian December Business Confidence Rises on Construction

Dec. 20 (Bloomberg) -- Belgian business confidence in December rose more than expected as executives in the construction industry were more optimist about demand.

The confidence index for Belgium increased to minus 11.8 from minus 13.4 in November, the Brussels-based National Bank of Belgium said today in a statement. Economists had predicted an increase in the index to minus 12.9, according to the median of 13 forecasts in a Bloomberg News survey.

Sentiment among executives in manufacturing also rose. Capital spending by manufacturers is projected to rebound 14 percent next year, according to the National Bank of Belgium’s semi-annual survey, a separate report published yesterday. That follows an estimated drop in spending of 1.4 percent this year.

To contact the reporter on this story: Andrew Clapham in Brussels at aclapham@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Jerrold Colten at jcolten@bloomberg.net

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