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December 2010: Economic Sentiment maintains its upward trend

Commission Européenne - IP/11/9   06/01/2011

Autres langues disponibles: FR DE

IP/11/9

Brussels, 6 January 2011

December 2010: Economic Sentiment maintains its upward trend

Important notice: since May 2010 business surveys data are classified in accordance with an updated version of the Nomenclature of Economic Activities (NACE rev. 2) causing a potential break in series at this date. In December, the Economic Sentiment Indicator (ESI) improved further in both the EU and the euro area. The indicator increased significantly, climbing by 1.0 point to 106.1 in the EU and by 1.1 points to 106.2 in the euro area. These results were driven in particular by strong positive readings in France and Germany.

Economic sentiment indicator (s.a.)

EU: December 106.1

Euro area: December 106.2

Figures and graphics available in PDF and WORD PROCESSED

A majority of Member States reported an improvement in sentiment. Among the seven largest Member States only Spain registered a decrease (-0.9). France registered the most significant increase (+2.5), followed by the Netherlands (+2.4), Germany (+1.5) and Poland (+1.3), while improvements were less pronounced in Italy (+0.8) and the UK (+0.7). In Germany, France, the UK, the Netherlands and Poland the ESI is above its long-term average.

Sentiment in industry, which increased sharply by 3.6 points in the EU and by 3.3 points in the euro area, was the main contributor to the overall improvement in confidence. The gain in industry was broad-based; reflecting improvements across all the components of the confidence indicator and strong positive developments in all the largest Member States. Also, sentiment in the retail sector improved substantially in both the EU (+5.5) and the euro area (+6.1), backed by pronounced gains in managers' assessment of the present business situation. In the EU, the indicator reached its highest historic level.

In line with the flash estimate released on 20 December 2010, confidence among consumers fell, both in the euro area (-1.6) and, to a lesser degree in the EU (-1.1). The drop in confidence mirrored in particular a significant worsening of consumers' assessment of the general economic situation and a rise in unemployment fears. After a sharp increase in November, confidence in services fell back in both the EU (-1.8) and the euro area (-0.5). Most respondents in this sector reported more downbeat assessments of demand and the business situation over the past three month. Among the largest Member States, only France continued to report improving sentiment in services. Sentiment in construction remained broadly stable at very low levels in both regions (+0.4 the EU and 0.0 in the euro area).

Confidence in financial services – not included in the ESI – improved strongly further in both the EU and the euro area (+5.3 and +4.5 points respectively).

Industrial confidence indicator (s.a.)

EU: December 4.0

Euro area: December 4.0

Figures and graphics available in PDF and WORD PROCESSED

Service confidence indicator (s.a.)

EU: December 6.1

Euro area: December 9.8

Figures and graphics available in PDF and WORD PROCESSED

Consumer confidence indicator (s.a.)

EU: December -12.1

Euro area: December -11.0

Figures and graphics available in PDF and WORD PROCESSED

Retail trade confidence indicator (s.a.)

EU: December 8.0

Euro area: December 4.6

Figures and graphics available in PDF and WORD PROCESSED

Construction confidence indicator (s.a.)

EU: December -28.0

Euro area: December -26.2

Figures and graphics available in PDF and WORD PROCESSED

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

EU: December 23.7

Euro area: December 25.5

Figures and graphics available in PDF and WORD PROCESSED

The next Business and Consumer Survey is due to be published on 27 January 2011.

Full tables are available on:

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


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