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Financial News: Eurozone Economic Confidence Rises For First Time In

Eurozone Economic Confidence Rises For First Time In Almost A Year

05/28/2019 - 08:10:00 (RTTNews)

(RTTNews) - Eurozone economic confidence improved for the first time in almost a year in May, driven by industry and services, survey data from European Commission showed Tuesday.

The economic sentiment index rose unexpectedly to 105.1 in May from a revised 103.9 in the previous month. The score was forecast to drop to 103.8. The increase in sentiment ended a sequence of decline that began in July 2018.

Elsewhere, data from the European Central Bank revealed that M3 money supply grew 4.7 percent in April, the fastest annual pace in nearly one-and-a-half years.

The pace of growth in loans to households improved to 3.4 percent from 3.3 percent in March.

Both eurozone sentiment and lending surprised to the upside, Bert Colijn, an ING economist said. While still in line with weaker growth for the second quarter, it does put the growth outlook in a somewhat better light, the economist added.

This month, the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development forecast Eurozone to grow 1.2 percent this year and 1.4 percent next year.

The improvement of euro area sentiment resulted from higher confidence in industry and services and among consumers, EU data showed. Meanwhile, confidence remained virtually flat in retail trade and cooled down significantly in construction.

The confidence index in industry rose to -2.9 in May from -4.3 a month ago. Industry confidence booked the first solid improvement in thirteen months, thanks to the sharpest increase in managers' production expectations in six-and-a-half years.

The indicator in services climbed moderately to 12.2 from 11.8. The improvement reflected somewhat better assessments of past and expected demand.

Propelled by households' brighter expectations about the general economic situation, the consumer confidence index climbed to -6.5 in May, in line with flash estimate, from -7.3 in April. Meanwhile, construction confidence took the strongest hit in some three years as managers' assessments of the level of order books and, particularly, their employment expectations clouded over. The corresponding sentiment index declined to 4.1 from 6.5 in April.

The sentiment index in retail trade fell marginally to -1.2 from -1.1. Improved appraisals of the present business situation were largely counterbalanced by lower assessments of the expected business situation.

Another survey from the EU showed that the business climate indicator dropped marginally to 0.30 in May from 0.42 in April. The expected score was 0.40.

Managers' views on the past production, as well as export order books and their assessments of overall order books deteriorated in May. Meanwhile, the production expectations and appraisals of the stocks of finished products improved.

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