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Financial News: Eurozone Economic Confidence Near 1-Year Low

Eurozone Economic Confidence Near 1-Year Low

07/30/2018 - 09:09:00 (RTTNews)

(RTTNews) - Eurozone economic confidence continued its downward trend hitting the lowest level in almost a year in July on weaker sentiment among retailers and firms, survey data from the European Commission showed Monday.

The economic sentiment index dropped slightly to 112.1 in July from 112.3 in the previous month. The score matched economists' expectations. The reading was the lowest since August 2017.

July's very small fall in economic sentiment supports the assessment that euro-zone growth is slowing only slightly from a strong pace, Jennifer McKeown, an economist at Capital Economics, said.

Eurozone GDP data is due on July 31. The currency bloc is expected to expand at a steady pace of 0.4 percent in the second quarter.

Broadly unchanged euro-area economic sentiment resulted from decreases in industry and retail trade confidence, which were offset by an increase in the services sector, EU said.

The industrial confidence index decreased to 5.8 from 6.9 in the previous month. The marked decrease resulted from managers' more pessimistic views on all three components, namely, production expectations, the current level of overall order books and the stocks of finished products.

Meanwhile, the services sentiment index rose to 15.3 from 14.4 a month ago, fueled by managers' significantly brighter demand expectations, while their assessments of past demand declined.

The consumer confidence index held steady at -0.6 in July and in line with the flash estimate.

At the same time, the confidence index in construction slid marginally to 5.4 from 5.6 in June. This virtually flat development resulted from downward revisions in managers' employment expectations, which were offset by their improving assessment of the level of order books.

The retail trade confidence index came in at -0.1 versus 0.7 a month ago. The score reflects more negative views on the expected business situation and the adequacy of the volume of stocks.

Another report from EU showed that the business confidence index dropped to an 11-month low of 1.29 from 1.38 in June.

Managers' appraisals of their overall and export order books worsened markedly, as well as their production expectations, while their views on the stocks of finished products edged down. By contrast, managers' assessments of past production improved.

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