Thursday, the Netherlands' Central Bureau of Statistics said in a report that the business confidence rose 3.4 points to minus 17.4 in April, compared to the minus 20.8 in March. Economists had predicted a reading of minus 20.

This was the second consecutive month of increase in business confidence. In February, the confidence indicator was minus 22.9, the lowest level since 1985.

Business confidence is compiled with three sub-indicators: expected production in the next three months, the view of the entrepreneurs on the stocks of finished product and the assessment of the order position.

The capacity utilization stood at 74.3% in April, down from 76.7% in January. This was the lowest level ever observed.

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