Ljubljana, 26 November (STA) – The business sentiment in Slovenia broke the declining trend in November with a one-point improvement to -22 percentage points, which is however still 12 points lower year-on-year and 21 points below the long-term average, the Statistics Office said on Monday.

In manufacturing, the confidence index was three points higher than in October, seven points lower than in November 2011 and 11 points below thelong-term average.

The share of companies in manufacturing that invest continues to decrease and the outlook shows a continuation of the trend. However, total investments in 2012 are 14% higher than in 2011 on average.

In retail, the confidence index slid one point compared to the month before; it was 22 points lower than last year and 14 points lower than the long-term average.

The index picked up one point in the construction sector and was four points higher year-on-year, but still 26 percentage points below the long-term average.

In services, the index remained unchanged at a level that is 17 points lower than in November last year and 37 points below the long-term average.

Despite mixed outlooks for the next three months, insufficient demand remains the main limiting factor in all areas, followed by strong competition, high labour costs and other financial obstacles.