Oviedo (EFE).- Business confidence for the first quarter of the year has improved by 0.2 percent, although pessimism continues to prevail, according to the index published this Thursday by the National Institute of Statistics (INE).
Specifically, 30.8 percent of Asturian businessmen have unfavorable expectations, compared to 12.8 percent who say they have favorable expectations and 56.4 who say they are normal.
In the country as a whole, business confidence for the first quarter of 2023 grew by 1.4%, after having been negative in four of the last six quarters and closing down in 2022.
One in three Spanish businessmen (33.8%) expect to raise the price level of their business this quarter, while only 6.4% say they will lower them, which is the highest percentage in a year.
The remaining 59.8% expect to keep prices stable.
7.6% of business managers affirm that employment will increase during the first quarter, the lowest percentage for a year, while 13.6% expect to reduce their workforce.
Confidence increases in all sectors, except transport and hospitality, and in all sizes of companies, except those with fewer than ten employees.
Industry is the sector in which confidence rises the most, followed by commerce and construction, while companies with more than 1,000 employees are the most optimistic.
In general terms, 15.1% of the companies are optimistic regarding the progress of their business this quarter and 24.9% are pessimistic, while 60% consider that it will be normal.
Compared to the last quarter of 2022, 21.1% of company managers have given a favorable opinion of the progress of their business, compared to 20% who have given an unfavorable opinion. EFE