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Economic sentiment continues to drop in March in the EU and the euro area, but at a slower pace

The Economic Sentiment Indicator (ESI) for the EU and the euro area declined again, but more slowly than in the first two months of the year amid signs of stabilisation in some sectors.

30 March 2009.

The indicator fell by 0.6 points in the EU, and by 0.7 points in the euro area, to 60.3 and 64.6 respectively. The indicators for both regions now stand at their lowest levels since the current series was launched in January 1985.

The fall in the ESI is attributed to the deteriorating sentiment in the industry and services sectors, which fell by the same amount (-2 points) in both regions. In the other sectors, a mixed picture is emerging.
Consumer sentiment stabilised in the EU, but fell by 1 point in the euro area.
Retail trade increased by 2 points in the EU and by 1 point in the euro area, reinforcing the rebound which started in February.
Construction in both regions stabilised at the levels seen in February.

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