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January 2010: Economic Sentiment Indicator approaching its long-term average

Commission Européenne - IP/10/75   28/01/2010

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IP/ 10/75

Brussels, 28 January 2010

January 2010: Economic Sentiment Indicator approaching its long-term average

In January, the Economic Sentiment Indicator (ESI) rose for the tenth successive month and stood at 97.1 (+2.1 points) in the EU and 95.7 (+1.6) in the euro area. Thus, although the rebound appears to be slowing, the indicator is now back at a level approaching its long-term average in both areas.

Economic sentiment indicator (s.a.)

EU: January 97.1

Euro area : January 95.7

Figures and graphics available in PDF and WORD PROCESSED


The majority of Member States reported a general improvement in sentiment. Among the largest Member States, Italy (+4.2 points) reported the most significant increase, followed by the UK (+3.2) and the Netherlands (+2.7). The improvements were less marked in Poland (+0.9), Germany (+0.6) , France (+0.6) and Spain (+0.3).

Sentiment in industry, which increased by 3 points in the EU and by 2 points in the euro area, remained the main contributor to the overall improvement. Most respondents in this sector reported strong improvement in both their order books and their production expectations. The declining level of stocks, across all the main industrial sectors, confirmed further destocking. The results of the quarterly manufacturing survey confirmed these positive developments. The survey participants were optimistic about past and future orders. Firms also reported an increase in their capacity utilisation rates which now stands at 73.1% in the EU and 72.4% in the euro area, although these are still far below their respective averages.

As indicated in the flash estimate released earlier, confidence among consumers improved slightly in the EU (+1 point) and remained unchanged in the euro area. The general economic outlook and decreasing unemployment fears contributed to the overall improvement. Confidence in services increased by 2 points in the euro area, while it remained unchanged in the EU, mainly due to falling confidence in the UK. In retail, confidence increased by 3 points in the EU and by 5 points in the euro area; these results, however, were mainly driven by a very strong increase in Italy. In contrast, construction continued to decline, dropping by 1 point in both the EU and the euro area.

Confidence in financial services – which is not included in the ESI – is now stabilising at around the pre-crisis level. It remained broadly unchanged in the EU and improved by 6 points in the euro area.

Industrial confidence indicator (s.a.)

EU: January -13

Euro area: January -14

Figures and graphics available in PDF and WORD PROCESSED


Service confidence indicator (s.a.)

EU : January -2

Euro area : January -1

Figures and graphics available in PDF and WORD PROCESSED


Consumer confidence indicator (s.a.)

EU: January -13

Euro area: January -16

Figures and graphics available in PDF and WORD PROCESSED


Retail trade confidence indicator (s.a.)

EU : January -3

Euro area: January -5

Figures and graphics available in PDF and WORD PROCESSED


Construction confidence indicator (s.a.)

EU : January -34

Euro area: January -29

Figures and graphics available in PDF and WORD PROCESSED


Financial services confidence indicator (n.s.a.)

EU : January 17

Euro area: January 19

Figures and graphics available in PDF and WORD PROCESSED


The next Business and Consumer Survey is due to be published on 25 February 2010.

Full tables are available on:

http://ec.europa.eu/economy_finance/db_indicators/surveys/index_en.htm


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