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Financial News: Eurozone Economic Confidence At 17-Year High

Eurozone Economic Confidence At 17-Year High

11/29/2017 - 07:24:00 (RTTNews)

(RTTNews) - Eurozone economic confidence continued to improve in November hitting a 17-year high, suggesting robust growth momentum towards the end of the year.

The economic confidence index improved to 114.6 from a revised 114.1 in the previous month, survey data from the European Commission showed Wednesday.

The score was in line with expectations and the highest since October 2000.

The overall increase resulted from improved confidence among consumers and in the construction sector, which was partly offset by a decrease in the retail trade sector.

The consumer sentiment index climbed notably to +0.1 in November from -1.1 in the prior month. The score came in line with the flash estimate.

Positive developments in consumer confidence reflected households' more optimistic assessment of future unemployment, their savings expectations and the future general economic situation and their future financial situation.

Similarly, in the construction sector, the sentiment index advanced to 1.6 from 0.4. The rise in construction confidence was fueled by upward revisions in managers' assessment of the level of order books and, to a lesser extent, their employment expectations.

Meanwhile, the retail trade confidence slid to 4.2 points from 5.5 in October. The decrease in retail trade confidence resulted from a strong deterioration in managers' views on the present business situation.

Confidence in industry and services remained broadly unchanged in November. The industrial sentiment index rose slightly to 8.2 from 8.0.

Likewise, the index among service providers rose marginally to 16.3 from 16.2 in the previous month.

Another report from the EU showed that the business confidence index rose to 1.49 in November versus 1.44 in October.

Managers' appraisals of both past and future production and export order books improved. By contrast, assessment of the stocks of finished products and overall order books remained broadly unchanged.

The survey suggests that the Eurozone recovery might have picked up pace at the start of the fourth quarter, Jack Allen, an economist at Capital Economics, said. But it supports the European Central Bank's cautious approach to normalizing monetary policy.

The economist said the bank is likely to end its asset purchases in December 2018, then wait until September 2019 before raising interest rates.

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