In February, the Economic Sentiment Indicator (ESI) decreased further in both the EU and the euro area.
29/02/2008. The indicator fell by 3.1 points in the EU and by 1.6 points in
the euro area, to 100.2 and 100.1 respectively. Having been on a downward path
since mid-2007, it now stands at its long-term average in both areas.
The decrease in the sentiment indicator in both regions is mainly due to a significant drop in confidence in the services sector and, to a lesser extent, lower confidence in the manufacturing and construction sectors. Confidence among consumers decreased slightly in the EU, while it remained stable in the euro area. In both areas, confidence improved in the retail trade sector.
Although the picture is fairly mixed at the country level, a majority of the countries reported decreases in sentiment in February. The ESI decreased in all large EU Member States but Germany. More specifically, confidence deteriorated in the UK (-9.0), Italy (-3.6), Spain (-3.1), France (-1.8) and Poland (-0.7), while it improved in Germany (+0.6).