Euro zone economic confidence still high despite dip

Industrial firms slightly less optimistic


Economic confidence in the euro zone eased in February but remained at “historically elevated” levels, particularly among service providers, according to the European Commission.

The commission’s overall economic sentiment indicator came in at 114.1, down from 114.9 the previous month but slightly better than economists had predicted.

The better-than-expected result came thanks to a buoyant mood across the currency area’s services sector. The sub-measure for services jumped from 16.8 to 17.5, in contrast to expectations of a fall.

Industrial firms, in contrast, were slightly less optimistic than the previous month, with more firms doubting that they will be able to sustain the record levels of production enjoyed at the start of the year.

Consumer confidence also slipped back from January’s near-record high, though – like the other measures – it remained well above its long-term average.

One notable exception to the general damping of confidence was Italy, which was one of the only countries to report an overall increase in economic sentiment, despite the uncertainty created by its impending election.

– Copyright The Financial Times Limited 2018