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27.02.2019 18:18

Economic sentiment in the euro area broadly stable in February

According to the report from European Commission, in February 2019, the Economic Sentiment Indicator (ESI) remained broadly stable in the euro area (-0.2 points to 106.1), while it decreased in the EU (by 0.9 points to 105.3).1

Broadly unchanged euro-area sentiment resulted from weaker industry and construction confidence in combination with more upbeat signals from the services sector, as well as, to a lesser extent, retail trade and consumers. Industry confidence deteriorated for the third month in a row (-1.0), due to managers’ more pessimistic views on all three components, i.e. production expectations, the current level of overall order books and the stocks of finished products. Services confidence improved (+1.1), as managers were more upbeat on the past business situation and, to a lesser extent, past and expected demand. The slight increase in consumer confidence (+0.5) reflected households’ more benign views on their past and future financial situation, as well as the expected general economic situation. Households’ intentions to make major purchases, by contrast, were scaled back somewhat. Retail trade confidence edged up (+0.5), reflecting managers’ better take on the present and expected business situation, which were partially offset by slightly more negative views on the adequacy of the volume of stocks. Construction confidence clouded over (-2.0), with managers reporting more pessimistic employment expectations and worsened assessments of the level of order books. Finally, financial services confidence (not included in the ESI) remained flat (+0.0), as strongly deteriorated appraisals of past demand were offset by more benign views on the past business situation and brighter demand expectations.


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