Eurozone economic sentiment declined further in March, but more slowly than in the first two months of 2009, a monthly survey carried out by European Commission showed Monday.

The economic sentiment index declined to 64.6 in March from 65.3 in February. Economists were expecting a reading of 65.8. The indicator stood at its lowest levels since the series began in January 1985. The fall in the index was attributed to the deteriorating sentiment in the industry and services sectors.

Consumer confidence and services confidence in March declined one point each to minus 34 and minus 25, respectively. While industrial confidence slid 2 points to minus 38, confidence in construction remained at minus 32.

The business climate indicator for the Euro area fell to minus 3.58 from minus 3.4 in the prior month. The index stood at the lowest level since January 1985. The indicator signaled that the industrial production will remain subdued in March.

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