In the first quarter of 2020, BCI increased by 7.3 index points reaching 25.8. Business confidence improved across all sectors with the exception of the service industry. The largest growth was observed in agriculture, followed by the manufacturing industry. In both sectors, the increase in BCI was driven by improved past performance as well as more optimistic future expectations.
BCI in the fourth quarter of 2019 has increased to 18.5 index points, which is 10.2 index points above the previous quarter. The largest increase in BCI was observed in retail trade, followed by the construction industry. In these sectors, the increase in BCI is driven by both increases in past performance and in raised expectations. On the contrary, agriculture is the one industry where BCI decreased.
BCI in the third quarter of 2019 has deteriorated, dropping to 8.3 index points, which is 18.7 index points below the previous quarter. The largest reduction in BCI was observed in retail trade followed by the financial and construction industries. In these sectors, the decrease in BCI is driven by both decline in past performance and reduced expectations. On the contrary, agriculture is the sole industry where BCI increased.
BCI in the second quarter of 2019 has improved, reaching 27.0 index points, which is 4.4 index points higher than the previous quarter. The highest growth in BCI was observed in retail trade and manufacturing. In the case of retail trade, this advancement in BCI is mostly due to good past performance, while in manufacturing the driver is positive expectations.
BCI in the first quarter of 2019 has worsened, dropping to 22.6 index points, which is a 7.4 index point loss over the previous quarter. The BCI drop is driven by worsening in the past performance and expectations in a number of the business sectors. Interestingly, companies in the construction industry assessed their past performance most pessimistically, however they display the most optimistic expectations. While the private sector expectations tend to worsen, they continue to remain positive.