Brussels/Frankfurt/Paris, Eurozone economic sentiment improved at the end of the year, the large part of which was ravaged by the coronavirus pandemic, and separate data showed that euro area inflation remained in the negative territory and retail sales fell unexpectedly, dpa reported.
Eurozone economic sentiment rose slightly more than expected at the end of the year 2020, preliminary data from the European Commission showed on Thursday. The economic sentiment index rose to 90.4 from 87.7 in November. Economists had forecast a score of 90.
The ESI’s recovery was driven by markedly higher confidence in industry and among consumers and, to a lesser degree, in construction, the commission said. Confidence weakened in services and retail trade. The industrial confidence index improved to -7.2 from -10.1 in the previous month.
Economists had expected a reading of -8.1. The consumer confidence index climbed to -13.9 from -17.6 in November, matching its flash estimate. The index for services confidence weakened to -17.4 from -17.1 in the previous month.
Economists had forecast a score of -15.0.
The retail trade sentiment index fell to -13.1 from -12.7, while the construction confidence index rose to -7.9 from -9.3. The survey also showed that the Employment Expectations Indicator partially recovered in December and added 1.4 points to 88.3.
Consumer price expectations decreased in December.
Energy prices dropped 6.9 per cent, which was slower than the 8.3 per cent decline in the previous month. The full HICP data for December is set to be released on January 20. Eurostat also reported that the euro area retail sales fell in November, defying expectations for further increase. Retail sales decreased 2.9 per cent year-on-year, while economists had forecast 0.8 per cent growth. October’s growth was revised to 4.2 per cent from 4.3 per cent. Compared to the previous month, sales fell 6.1 per cent in November, which was nearly double of the 3.4 per cent fall economists had expected. The monthly growth for October was revised to 1.4 per cent from 1.5 per cent.
The Covid-19 containment measures introduced again by several Member States had a significant impact on retail trade, Eurostat said.
Source: Saudi Press Agency