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Economic Sentiment down in the euro area, broadly stable in the EU

Zone(s): Europe ¦ Sector(s): Economy

[27 June 2014, Europa website]  In June the Economic Sentiment Indicator (ESI) decreased in the euro area (by 0.6 points to 102.0) while it remained broadly stable in the EU (-0.1 points at 106.4).

Euro area developments
The relapse of euro area sentiment to its April level means a continuation of the sideways movement observed in recent months. It resulted from a deterioration in industry, construction and, to a lesser extent, consumer confidence. Retail trade confidence remained broadly unchanged, while services confidence booked a slight improvement. Amongst the largest euro area economies, the ESI eased in Germany (-1.3), France (-1.2) and Italy (-1.0), while it increased in the Netherlands (+0.7) and, more significantly, in Spain (+2.2). Worth highlighting is the 4.6 points rise in Greece, bringing its ESI above the long-term average for the first time since August 2008.

EU developments
The headline indicator for the EU remained broadly stable (-0.1), owing to brightening sentiment in the two largest non-euro area EU economies, the UK (+2.2) and Poland (+1.2). EU services confidence rallied, while, as in the euro area, industry, construction and financial services confidence slipped. Consumer confidence remained virtually unchanged, whereas confidence in retail trade fell, contrasting with the broadly flat euro-area development. Consumers’ more cautious unemployment expectations and construction managers’ lower employment plans were also observed at EU-level. However, the downward revisions to employment plans in the retail trade and services sectors and the upward revision in industry meant a deviation from the euro area. EU price expectations were in line with those for the euro area.