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Economic sentiment continues to decline in both the EU and the euro area

In September, the Economic Sentiment Indicator (ESI) fell by 1.5 points in the EU and by 0.8 points in the euro area, to 85.2 and 87.7 respectively.

Article created on 29 September 2008

In the EU, the ESI reached its lowest level since December 1993, while for the euro area it approached its 2001 trough.

In both the EU and the euro area, the overall decrease in sentiment was characterised by a fall in confidence in industry, services and construction, whereas consumer confidence was unchanged after a rebound in August, and confidence in retail trade improved slightly.

The financial services confidence indicator not included in the ESI decreased slightly in the EU, while it registered a minor improvement in the euro area. In both areas, the indicator stands below its long-term average.

A majority of countries reported a fall in their ESI. Among the large Member States, Italy and France registered a slight increase (+0.5 both), while drops in sentiment were registered in the Netherlands ( 5.2), the UK (-4.2), Spain (-1.4), Germany ( 1.3) and Poland (-1.2). Among these countries, the ESI stands above its long-term average only in Poland.

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