Sentiment in the euro area and the European Union, or EU, as measured by the Economic Sentiment Indicator, or ESI, registered a slight improvement in February, according to the European Commission.

A statement released Thursday showed the ESI inching up 0.2 points both in the euro area (to 101.2) and in the EU (to 105.0). While industry confidence improved slightly by 0.4 points, confidence among consumers weakened by 1.0 point as a result of a bleaker outlook on savings, unemployment and the overall future of the region’s economy.

The marginal improvement in the euro area was attributed to enhanced confidence in construction and also, to a lesser extent, in the services and retail sectors.

According to the European Commission statement, sentiment improved in three of the five largest euro area economies -- Germany (+0.4), the Netherlands (+0.6) and Italy (+2.4), while it remained stable in Spain and deteriorated in France (-1.4).

In the EU, the statement noted, the ESI improved in the UK (+1.0) and remained mostly steady in Poland (+0.3). Confidence improved in the services and retail industries while confidence among consumers decreased slightly.