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Financial News: Eurozone Economic Confidence Strongest Since Mid-2007

Eurozone Economic Confidence Strongest Since Mid-2007

09/28/2017 - 08:39:00 (RTTNews)

(RTTNews) - Eurozone economic confidence reached its highest level in more than a decade in September on improved developments in industrial and retail sectors.

The economic sentiment index rose to 113.0 in September from 111.9 in August, survey data from the European Commission showed Thursday. The score was above the expected level of 112.

This was the highest since June 2007, when the reading was 113.1. The indicator firmed in September on the back of higher industry, retail trade and construction confidence.

The rise in economic sentiment suggests that the economic recovery in the currency bloc will continue at a decent pace, Jessica Hinds, an economist at Capital Economics, said.

Along with the pick-up in consumer inflation expectations, this supports the case for the European Central Bank to announce its tapering plans in full next month, the economist added.

Industrial confidence continued its rally, thanks to managers' higher production expectations and improved appraisals of the current level of overall order books.

The corresponding index climbed to 6.6 from 5.0 in the previous month. The expected score was 5.2 and the highest since February 2011.

The services sentiment indicator advanced slightly to 15.3 from 15.1. Broadly unchanged development reflected improved assessments of past demand being partially offset by lower demand expectations, as well as unchanged views on the past business situation.

The confidence index for retail trade improved to 3.0 from 1.6. Retail trade confidence firmed due to managers' more upbeat appraisals of the present business situation, the adequacy of the volume of stocks and, in particular, the expected business situation.

For the third month in a row, consumer confidence remained broadly unchanged in September. The consumer sentiment index came in at -1.2 versus -1.5 a month ago. The score matched the preliminary estimate and was the highest since April 2001.

Another report from the EU showed that the business sentiment index moved up to 1.34 in September from 1.08 in August.

Managers' production expectations, views on overall order books and their appraisals of export order books, as well as past production improved in September.

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