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Commission européenne – Communiqué de presse

Janvier 2012: le climat économique s'améliore tant dans l'Union européenne que dans la zone euro

Bruxelles, 30 janvier 2012 – En janvier, l'indicateur du climat économique (ESI) a augmenté de 1,2 point dans l'UE et de 0,6 point dans la zone euro, pour atteindre 92,8 et 93,4 respectivement, progressant ainsi pour la première fois depuis mars 2011. Cette amélioration était principalement le résultat d'une plus grande confiance dans le secteur des services et, dans une moindre mesure, des consommateurs et du secteur de la construction. Parmi les plus grands États membres de la zone euro, le climat s'est amélioré en Allemagne (+2,3) et en Espagne (+1,8), tandis qu'il s'est détérioré en France (-2,1), en Italie (-1,1) et aux Pays-Bas (-1,0). En ce qui concerne les grands États membres du reste de l'Union européenne, le climat s'est amélioré au Royaume-Uni (+5,0) et en Pologne (+2,7). L'Allemagne est le seul pays où l’ESI est resté supérieur à sa moyenne à long terme.

Economic sentiment indicator (s.a.)

Confidence in industry improved only marginally in the EU (+0.4), staying just below its long-term average, while it remained unchanged in the euro area. In both regions, managers had a more positive assessment of their companies' past production and their export order books. At the EU level, firms also expressed increasing optimism about expected production and the current level of order books, though these improvements were partially offset by a worsening in the assessment of stocks of finished products. In the euro area, production expectations were unchanged, while managers' assessment of their order books deteriorated. On the other hand, euro-area managers were more positive about their companies' stocks.

Confidence in services rebounded in both the EU (+2.9) and the euro area (+2.0), thanks to more positive assessments of the past business situation, past demand, and expected demand. Confidence in construction also improved in both the EU (+1.2) and – albeit to a lesser extent – in the euro area (+0.6). On the contrary, confidence in retail trade worsened significantly in both the EU (-2.7) and the euro area (-3.3).

Managers revised their employment plans upwards in all business sectors except for retail. At the same time, expected selling prices were also revised upwards across all sectors.

Confidence among consumers improved by 1.3 points in the EU and by 0.6 points in the euro area, mainly on the back of easing unemployment fears in both regions. Consumers' assessment of the expected general economic situation and their own financial situation improved at the EU level, but remained unchanged at the euro-area level.

Confidence in financial services – not included in the ESI – increased in both the EU (+6.0) and in the euro area (+9.1), on the back of more optimistic managers' expectations about demand for their companies' services. Managers also assessed recent developments in the business situation and demand more positively.

According to the quarterly survey of the manufacturing sector, also carried out in January 2011, managers' expectations of export volumes increased in both the EU and the euro area, while at the euro-area level there was also an improvement in managers' appraisal of their competitive position on foreign markets outside the EU. Capacity utilisation increased marginally. At 80.2% in the EU and 79.9% in the euro area, capacity utilisation remains still below its long-term average.

Industrial confidence indicator (s.a.)

Service confidence indicator (s.a.)

Consumer confidence indicator (s.a.)

Retail trade confidence indicator (s.a.)

Construction confidence indicator (s.a.)

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

The next Business and Consumer Survey is due to be published on 28 February 2012.

Full tables are available on:

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

Contacts :

Amadeu Altafaj Tardio (+32 2 295 26 58)

Vandna Kalia (+32 2 299 58 24)

Catherine Bunyan (+32 2 299 65 12)


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