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Financial News: Eurozone Economic Sentiment Near 17-Year High

Eurozone Economic Sentiment Near 17-Year High

10/30/2017 - 08:35:00 (RTTNews)

(RTTNews) - Eurozone economic confidence rose to the highest level in nearly 17 years in October despite political tensions, survey results from the European Commission showed Monday.

The economic sentiment index improved more-than-expected to 114.0 in October from 113.1 in September. This was the highest since January 2001, when the reading was 144.4. The expected score was 113.3.

Improved sentiment resulted from marked increases in confidence in the industry, retail trade and construction sectors and, to a lesser extent, from an increase in confidence in the services sector.

Industrial confidence remained on the steep upward trend that started in September 2016, thanks to managers' improved appraisals of the current level of overall order books and the stocks of finished products.

The industrial sentiment rose to 7.9 from 6.7 in September. The expected reading was 7.

The retail trade confidence index climbed to 5.5 from 3.0 a month ago. The marked rise was fueled by more positive views on all its components, namely managers' expected business situation, their appraisals of the adequacy of the volume of stocks and the present business situation.

At the same time, the services confidence index climbed moderately to 16.2 from 15.4 a month ago. Positive developments in services confidence resulted from managers' improved views on all three components of the indicator, namely past and expected demand, and the past business situation.

The consumer sentiment indicator improved to -1 in October from -1.2 in the previous month. The score came in line with initial estimate. For the third month in a row, consumer confidence booked a fractional increase from a historically high level.

Another report from the EU showed that the business confidence index rose to 1.44 in October from 1.34 in September.

Managers' appraisals of the stocks of finished products, past production and overall order books improved strongly. By contrast, managers' production expectations dropped slightly and their assessments of export order books remained broadly unchanged in October.

The survey suggests that the Eurozone recovery remained healthy at the start of the fourth quarter, Stephen Brown, an economist at Capital Economics, said.

Eurostat is slated to release the euro area preliminary flash GDP estimate on October 31.

According to the ECB Survey of Professional Forecasters, the euro area is set to grow 2.2 percent this year and 1.9 percent in 2018.

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