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Economic sentiment falls to record-low levels in both the EU and the euro area

In December, the Economic Sentiment Indicator (ESI) declined considerably in the EU and the euro area, continuing the sharp fall in sentiment already observed in the October and November surveys...

Article created on 8 January 2009

In December, the Economic Sentiment Indicator (ESI) declined considerably in the EU and the euro area, continuing the sharp fall in sentiment already observed in the October and November surveys. It fell by 7.0 points in the EU and by 7.8 points in the euro area, to 63.5 and 67.1 respectively. This puts the ESI for both the EU and the euro area at its lowest since the current series was launched in January 1985.

In both the EU and the euro area, the decline in the overall ESI reflects a general decrease in sentiment. The industrial and consumer confidence indicators fell significantly again and reached their lowest level since January 1985 in both regions. The services confidence indicator marks a new record-low level for both regions since the introduction of the survey twelve years ago. Sentiment in the retail sector declined considerably in both the EU and euro area, and is now also at a record-low level in the EU. The construction confidence indicator also dropped markedly, by 3 points in both regions, though it is still above its all-time low reached in October 1993.

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