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Financial News: Eurozone Economic Sentiment Strengthens Unexpectedly In Au

Eurozone Economic Sentiment Strengthens Unexpectedly In August

08/29/2019 - 07:52:00 (RTTNews)

(RTTNews) - Eurozone economic confidence improved unexpectedly in August driven by industry and services, survey data from the European Commission showed Thursday.

The economic sentiment index rose to 103.1 in August from a 40-month low of 102.7 in July, while the reading was forecast to fall to 102.3.

The slight improvement resulted from markedly higher confidence in industry and retail trade, while morale deteriorated significantly in services and construction.

The industrial sentiment index climbed to -5.9 from -7.3 in July and forecast of -7.5. The strong increase in industry confidence partially offset the significant decline observed in July.

The strong increase in the retail trade confidence was fueled by more optimistic views on the present business situation and the adequacy of the volume of stocks. The index advanced to +0.5 from -0.7 in July.

Meanwhile, the services confidence index dropped to 9.3 from 10.6 a month ago. The expected score was 10.5. The marked decline in services sentiment was driven by managers' more pessimistic views on the past business situation and past demand, as well as their demand expectations.

The final consumer sentiment indicator fell to -7.1, in line with the flash estimate, from -6.6 in the previous month. The slight decline reflected the deterioration in households' expectations about the general economic situation.

Largely due to managers' lower employment expectations, the construction sentiment index slid to 3.7 from 5.0 in the previous month.

Another report from EU showed that business climate improved markedly in August. The corresponding index rose to +0.11 from -0.11 in July. The score was forecast to drop to -0.15.

The survey revealed that managers' assessments of past production and of export order books improved sharply. Also their production expectations, as well as their views on overall order books and the level of stocks of finished products improved markedly.

Melanie Debono, an economist at Capital Economics, said the small increase in the Eurozone economic sentiment does not change the big picture of a bleak outlook for the economy, and nor does it alter the view that the European Central Bank will cut rates in two weeks' time before announcing a fresh round of quantitative easing, probably in October.

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