Eurozone Economic Confidence Highest In 4 Months

Economy

Eurozone economic confidence strengthened to a four-month high in December on widespread improvements across trade, services, industry, and construction and among consumers.

The economic confidence index rose more-than-expected to 95.8 in December from 94.0 in November, survey results published by the European Commission showed Friday.

The latest score was the highest in four months and above economists’ forecast of 94.7.

The survey conducted between December 1 and 20 showed that sentiment improved in all surveyed sectors at the end of the year.

Industrial confidence picked up for the first time in six months in December on production expectations. The corresponding index climbed to -1.5 from -1.9 in November.

Services confidence posted a more marked improvement, with the index rising to 6.3 from 3.1 in November. The retailers’ sentiment index advanced to -3.6 from -6.6 in the prior month.

At the same time, construction confidence picked up moderately, to 3.8 from 2.8 in November.

The consumer confidence index came in at -22.2, as initially estimated, up from -23.9 a month ago.

The Employment Expectations Indicator remained unchanged in December as the improvement in employment plans in construction was offset by deterioration in services.

The economic confidence survey results chime with other major business surveys showing that the decline in economic activity eased at the end of last year, Capital Economics’ economist Andrew Kenningham, said.

That said, the economist viewed that the ESI remains consistent with GDP contracting slightly and a two-quarter recession is likely.

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