Euro Area: Economic sentiment improves in February
Sentiment in the Eurozone rose to 93.4 in February from 91.5 in January, marking the strongest reading in 11 months. The index nonetheless remained entrenched below its long-run average of 100. February saw improvements in sentiment in the services, industry and construction sectors. On the other hand, sentiment in the financial services and retail trade sectors dropped. Meanwhile, employment expectations strengthened.
In terms of specific countries, sentiment rose in France, Germany and Italy, although it fell mildly in the Netherlands and strongly in Spain.
Commenting on the release, Bert Colijn, senior Eurozone economist at ING, stated:
“While lockdowns still curb economic activity for now, businesses and consumers are becoming more optimistic about the months ahead. Economic activity in 1Q will still be very subdued though with manufacturing improvements a welcome exception.”