RTTNews - Tuesday, German investor confidence rose above expectations to its highest level in almost three years in May. Elsewhere, annual inflation in the UK slowed more than expected in April to a level last seen in January 2008.


The Eurostat said construction output in the 16-nation economy dropped a seasonally adjusted 1% month-on-month in March, after falling a revised 0.6% in February. On an annual basis, the construction output declined a working day adjusted 8.7% in March, compared to the 8.6% fall in the previous month.

European Central Bank Executive Board member Gertrude Tumpel-Gugerell said the bank had done everything possible with interest rates to boost the economy.

The Mannheim-based Centre for European Economic Research, or ZEW, said its economic sentiment indicator for Germany rose to 31.1 in May, the highest since June 2006, from 13 in April, while the forecast was for an increase to 20. The gauge for the current conditions in Germany fell further to reach minus 92.8. It was in contrast to economists' expectations for an improvement to minus 90 from the previous month's minus 91.6.

Industrial turnover in Spain dropped 20.6% year-on-year in March, but slower than a 31.3% fall in February, data released by the National Statistics Institute showed. This was the eighth consecutive month of decline in the turnover.

Italy's statistical office Istat said the nation recorded a trade surplus of EUR 82 million in March, following a revised trade deficit of EUR 895 million in February. Economists had expected a surplus of EUR 336 million.

The National Bank of Belgium said in a report that the consumer confidence indicator stood at minus 19 in May, up from minus 22 in April.

Rest of Europe

The Office for National Statistics reported an annual inflation of 2.3% in April, down from 2.9% in the previous month. The annual rate stood slightly below the expected level of 2.4% and reached the lowest since January 2008, when it was 2.2%.

On a monthly basis, consumer prices climbed 0.2%, less than the expected rise of 0.4%. Core inflation that strips out energy, food, alcohol and tobacco slowed to 1.5% from 1.7%. This was the weakest since January 2009.

Late on Monday, the Bank of England said in its Annual Report that it increased bonus and special payments budget in the year through February to 8.1% from the usual 7% of salaries, recognizing the exceptional workload of staff over the last year.

Hungarian Central Statistical Office said in a report that the average monthly gross earnings grew 4.3% year-over-year in March, faster than the 2.5% increase in the previous month. Economists expected the wages to rise 3.8%.

The Statistics Norway said the gross domestic product for Mainland Norway fell for the second straight quarter. The economy shrank 1% in the first quarter from the previous quarter, following a 0.8% decline in the fourth quarter. The first quarter number matched economists' expectations.

Moreover, a report from Statistics Sweden showed that the number of employed persons declined by 0.8% to 4,004,900 in the first quarter. The number of employed declined 0.4% in the private sector, while it fell 1.7% in the public sector in this period.

Bulgaria's National Statistical Institute said the average monthly wages and salaries grew 2.7% sequentially in the first quarter to 563 levs from 548 levs in the fourth quarter.

Poland's Central Statistical Office announced that the average gross wages and salaries increased 4.8% year-over-year in April.

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