Eurozone economic confidence up in February after January pause

Updated: 2011-02-25 17:20


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BRUSSELS -- Economic confidence in the euro zone resumed its upward trend in February after pausing in January, a European Commission survey showed Thursday.

The economic sentiment indicator for the 17-nation bloc sharing the euro increased by 1 point to 107.8, while in the 27-nation European Union (EU), the monthly indicator, based on business and consumer surveys, rose by 1.4 points to 107.2. In both regions, the levels were above the respective long-term averages.

The results were boosted by strong positive readings in Poland and Britain, which registered the most significant increases among the seven largest EU member states. Economic confidence in Poland grew by 3.6 points and Britain 3.1 points, followed by Spain's 2.2 points and Germany's 1.3 points.

The surveys were conducted in different sectors of the economy, namely industry, services, construction and retail trade as well as among consumers.
Regarding individual sectors, confidence in services, which increased markedly by 1.2 points in the euro zone and by 3.6 points in the EU, was the main contributor to the overall improvement. Confidence in industry and construction also contributed to the overall improvement, as well as confidence among euro area consumers.

Confidence in financial services, which is not included in the indicator, improved significantly in both the EU and the euro zone, mainly backed by improved demand expectations.

Meanwhile, the business climate indicator (BCI) for the euro zone remained unchanged in February, the commission said in a separate survey.

The current level of the indicator was very close to historical peaks, suggesting that the recovery in industry would continue in the coming months, the commission said.


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