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Financial News: Eurozone Economic Confidence Falls More Than Expected In

Eurozone Economic Confidence Falls More Than Expected In December

01/07/2022 - 06:51:00 (RTTNews)

(RTTNews) - Eurozone economic sentiment weakened more than expected to a seven-month low as the Omicron variant weighed on services activity towards the end of the year, monthly survey results from the European Commission showed on Friday.

The economic confidence index declined to 115.3 in December from 117.6 in November. The reading was forecast to fall moderately to 116.0 and reached its lowest level since May.

The overall decline was driven by a marked decline in services and, to a lesser extent, retail trade and consumer confidence, while confidence improved in industry and construction.

The industrial confidence index rose unexpectedly to 14.9 from 14.3 a month ago. The score was forecast to fall to 13.9. Likewise, the confidence index for construction improved to 10.2 from 9.0.

The services sentiment index declined sharply to 11.2 from 18.3 in the previous month. The expected reading was 16.

Sentiment among retailers also deteriorated, with the index easing to 1.1 from 3.7 in the previous month.

At -8.3, the consumer confidence index matched the flash estimate, and was down from -6.8 in the prior month.

For the first time since January 2021, the employment expectations indicator decreased -1.6 points to 114.0 in December.

With the Omicron variant now taking hold across the region, sentiment is likely to stay weak in the coming months, James Reilly, an economist at Capital Economics, said.

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