Economic worries


 European Commission

The Economic Sentiment Indicator for the 27-nation EU and the 17 countries that use the euro both declined 2.2 points, to 102.4 in the EU and 103.2 in the euro area, the lowest figures since last September. That is still higher than the average from 1990-2010, which is 100.

Italy and Spain saw large drops in confidence, while Belgium France, Germany, the Netherlands and the UK saw only moderate declines. The European Commission said the scores reflect worries over stagnant employment opportunities coupled with inflation.

The report also stated: “Confidence in financial services – not included in the ESI – decreased by -4.6 in the EU and by -10.8 in the euro area.

Conversely, Luxembourg’s overall score was 103.9, up from 103.6 the month before and the highest level for a year. The uptick was driven mostly by strong consumer confidence, offsetting notable declines in confidence within the industrial and construction sectors.

Latvia, Lithuania and Poland also showed minor gains in overall confidence over previous months.