The July numbers continue the recent upward trend in economic sentiment among euro area and European Union (EU) economies, the European Commission said Tuesday.
The commission released results of its latest Economic Sentiment Indicator (ESI) survey, which indicated that sentiment rose by 1.2 points for the 17 euro-area nations and by 2.4 points for the 28 EU nations during July, continuing an upward trend observed since May.
The ESI attributes rises in the core euro area to improved confidence among consumers and managers within the services and retail trade sectors as well as industry. The rise in sentiment for that segment was strong enough to offset the weakened confidence within the construction sector. When measured individually, economic sentiment grew in four of the five largest euro-area economies: Italy by 2.9 points, Spain by 1.2, France by 1.2 and Germany by 0.7. Meanwhile, sentiment contracted in the Netherlands by 2 points.
Across the wider EU states, the improvement in sentiment was even higher, 2.4 points above the previous month. Increases in industry, consumer and retail trade confidence were sharper than in the euro area when observed on a sector-by-sector basis and construction confidence slipped only by slightly. However, on a country basis, the main reason sentiment increased sharply was because confidence in the U.K., the largest non-euro area economy in the EU, improved noticeably, by 6.9 points. Meanwhile, the EU financial services confidence indicator declined slightly, by 0.4 points.