Eurozone business confidence hits near three-year high
Business confidence in the 16-nation eurozone hit a three-year high in October, although consumer expectations were flat, a European Union survey showed yesterday.
The European Commission’s Economic Sentiment Indicator (ESI) rose 0.9 points to 104.1 points, described as “now above its long-term average,” thanks in large part to a big climb for France, which shot up by 3.4 points.
The reading was the best since December 2007, when it hit 105 points.
The Netherlands also registered a sharp improvement of 2.8 points, although Germany and Italy posted only minimal increases of 0.3 points each and Spain declined by 0.2 points.
Officials said that sentiment in industry was the main driver, with employment expectations in this sector also becoming “more upbeat.”
Confidence among consumers, however, was broadly unchanged compared to September and financial services recorded a drop of 3.0 points in the eurozone.
Across the 27-state European Union as a whole, including the important economies of Britain and Poland, the sentiment index was also at 104.1 points after a smaller gain of 0.5 points.