Sélecteur de langues
Brussels, 28 February 2010
February 2010: Economic Sentiment Indicator stands still, after almost a year of uninterrupted improvement
In February, the Economic Sentiment Indicator (ESI) remained broadly unchanged, lingering at 97.4 (up by 0.2 points) in the EU and at 95.9 (down by 0.1 point) in the euro area. After 10 months of uninterrupted improvement, the rebound appears to have lost its momentum – though the indicator is now not far off its long-term average, especially in the EU.
Economic sentiment indicator (s.a.)
EU: February 97.4
Euro area : February 95.9
Among the largest Member States, France (-1.9 points) reported the biggest worsening in sentiment (especially in industry), followed by Italy (-1.7). In contrast, Poland (+4.2) reported the most significant increase, while improvements were less pronounced in Spain (+1.1), Germany (+0.9) and in the Netherlands (+0.9). Sentiment was broadly unchanged in the UK (+0.1).
There was no clear pattern across sectors. Sentiment in industry increased by 1 point in the euro area, while it remained unchanged in the EU, mainly due to falling confidence in the UK. Managers in industry were upbeat about their order books and production expectations, whereas the level of stocks was assessed with some caution.
Confidence in services improved by 2 points in both the EU and the euro area, but in the retail sector it declined by 2 points in the EU and by 4 points in the euro area, driven by a significant drop in Germany and Italy. Construction recovered 2 points in the EU, while remaining unchanged in the euro area.
In line with the flash estimate, confidence among consumers deteriorated in both the EU and the euro area. Consumers' perception of the general economic outlook and increasing unemployment fears (especially in Spain and in Italy) contributed to the overall deterioration.
Confidence in financial services – which is not included in the ESI – is now back at its pre-crisis level. It remained unchanged in the EU and improved by 2 points in the euro area, driven mainly by a positive assessment of the business situation and demand over the past 3 months.
Industrial confidence indicator (s.a.)
EU: February -13
Euro area: February -13
Service confidence indicator (s.a.)
EU : February 0
Euro area : February 1
Consumer confidence indicator (s.a.)
EU: February -14
Euro area: February -17
Retail trade confidence indicator (s.a.)
EU : February -5
Euro area: February -9
Construction confidence indicator (s.a.)
EU : February -32
Euro area: February -29
Financial services confidence indicator (n.s.a.)
EU : February 17
Euro area: February 21
The next Business and Consumer Survey is due to be published on 29 March 2010.
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