Euro Area Sentiment Indexes Beat Estimates; Economic, Industrial And Consumer Sentiment Indexes All Show Improvement Over Previous Reading

Euro zone
The euro sculpture is partially reflected in a puddle on a cobblestone pavement in front of the headquarters of the European Central Bank in Frankfurt, Jan. 21, 2012. Reuters/Kai Pfaffenbach

Economic sentiment in the euro area saw an improvement across categories, data from the European Commission showed Friday.

The Economic Sentiment Indicator, or ESI, for the euro area rose to 102.4 in March, up from 101.2 in the previous month while in the European Union, or EU, it remained broadly flat with an increase of 0.3 points to 105.3. 

Meanwhile, consumer sentiment in the euro area also showed a significant improvement to a negative 9.3 in March from a negative 12.7 in the previous month. In the EU, consumer sentiment improved to a negative 6.6 from a negative 9.3 in February.

"Consumers' views on the future general economic situation and the level of future unemployment, as well as their savings expectations improved sharply," a statement from the European Commission said.

Industrial sentiment in the euro area improved slightly to a negative 3.3 from a negative 3.4 in February. However, in the EU, sentiment among industries dipped slightly to a negative 2.7 from a negative 2.4 in the previous month.

A Wall Street Journal consensus estimate for the euro area had pegged the ESI to read 101.5 while industrial sentiment was expected to record a reading of a negative 3.5 while consumer sentiment was expected to improve to a negative 9.3.

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