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Europe — Economic Sentiment Indicator improves further

30 September 2010

The Economic Sentiment Indicator (ESI), published by the European Commission improves further in both the entire European Union (EU) and the Euro area in September.

The indicator increased only marginally, by 0.3 of a point in the EU and, more significantly, by 0.9 of a point in the Euro area, to 103.4 and 103.2 respectively. In both the EU and the Euro area the ESI stands above its long-term average.

Among the largest Member States, Germany with another robust gain (+2.0) contributed the most to the overall development. Improvements were less pronounced in Spain (+1.1) and in the Netherlands (+0.9). The ESI in France remained broadly unchanged, while sentiment deteriorated in Poland (-0.7), Italy (-1.2) and even more so in the UK (-2.1).

Sentiment in industry remained broadly unchanged in the EU and improved by 1 point in the Euro area. In both areas, the majority of respondents in this sector reported slight improvements in both their order books assessment and production expectations while managers' assessment of stocks remained broadly unchanged.

As indicated in the flash estimate released earlier this month, the consumer confidence indicator weakened slightly (-1) in the EU and remained broadly unchanged in the Euro area. Consumers were a little more pessimistic about the general economic situation and their unemployment expectations, while there was no change in their own savings expectations and in the assessment of their own future financial situation.

The Confidence indicator in services remained broadly unchanged in the EU and improved by 1 point in the Euro area. Managers' pessimistic assessment of the business situation in the UK over the past three month accounts for the difference in trends between the two areas. Sentiment in the retail sector improved in both the EU (+1) and the Euro area (+2). Confidence indicator in construction picked up in the EU (+2) and in the Euro area (+3).

The indicator nevertheless remains at a very low level, well below its long-term average in the two economic areas.

Confidence in financial services — not included in the ESI —decreased in both the EU (-2) and the Euro area (-1).

To read the full ESI please click here



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