The Grand Duchy’s economic sentiment score is 13% higher than at the beginning of the year
Photo: European Parliament
Indicators: Economic sentiment improved notably in September, including in the financial services sector, the European Commission has found.
Luxembourg saw its second straight month of increased economic optimism, the European Commission’s monthly survey of business and consumer confidence has found.
The Economic Sentiment Indicator for the Grand Duchy rose 5.9 points, from 85.1 in August to 91 in September, the highest score recorded over the past year, and marked a turnaround from a summer slip in confidence.
The ESI previously rose from 81.8 in July, but had been over 84 in May and June. The score was 79.5 in January. Nevertheless Luxembourg was still below its long-term average of 100.
The indicator likewise saw gains in Luxembourg’s Greater Region neighbours and across Europe. Belgium’s ESI increased from 95.6 in August to 99.3 in September, France’s rose from 91.9 to 93.5 and Germany’s went up from 103.8 to 104.1. Those results also represented the highest scores seen in the three countries over the past year.
Across the 17-country euro zone, the ESI increased 1.6 points, to 96.9, and for the entire EU28, the ESI rose from 98.2 to 100.6, which the commission said was the union’s highest score since July 2011. Both represented the fifth consecutive month of improved sentiment.
“In the euro area, the strong increase resulted from markedly improved confidence across all business sectors, whereby improvements in construction and retail trade were particularly pronounced,” the commission’s report said on Friday.
For the entire EU, “the main reason for the sharper increase was markedly improving confidence in the largest non-euro area EU economy, the UK.”
The UK’s ESI jumped 6.9 points, to 115.4 in September, the commission reported.
Within the euro zone, big gains were registered in Italy and Spain, which both saw increases of 2.5 points, to 94 in Italy, and 96.8 in Spain.
The Netherlands saw the most notable decline, of -0.9 points, to 91.8.
A score of 100 represents the average confidence level since January 1990, when the European Commission began the monthly poll.
Financial services gains
In parallel with the ESI, the commission released its monthly survey of the financial services sector, which similarly reached 12-month high water marks.
For the EU28, financial industry sentiment rose from 8.7 in August to 14.2 in September, nearly two points higher than its seven-year average of 12.6.
In the euro area, financial services confidence “increased sharply by 6.1 points”, from 5.2 in August to 11.3 in September, “driven by a striking increase in managers’ demand expectations, as well as improving assessments of past demand and the past business situation,” according to the report.
The average financial services sentiment indicator since 2006 is 11.3.
However, financial services managers in the euro area remained slightly negative on the “evolution of employment expected over the next three months”.