Eurozone Economic Sentiment March 2020


Eurozone: Economic sentiment dives at sharpest pace on record in March

April 1, 2020

Sentiment in the Eurozone nosedived in March due to the blow of coronavirus, plunging to 94.5 points from February’s 103.4 points. Consequently, sentiment in the Eurozone moved below its long-run average of 100 points, and logged its worst reading in over six years.

March’s fall came on the back of plummeting confidence in the services sector, as well in the retail trade sector. Moreover, sentiment in industry and among consumers declined significantly, but to a lesser extent. In the survey arises that confidence in the construction sector was the less affected, although it also decreased notably. Meanwhile, employment expectations plunged, due to strong deteriorations in employments plans in the services and retail trade sectors.

Among the largest economies of the Euro Area, sentiment nosedived in Italy, fell strongly but to a lesser extent in Germany; and deteriorated in France, the Netherlands and Spain.

Commenting on the release, Bert Colijn, Eurozone senior economist at ING, stated:

“After four months of increases, economic sentiment nosedived in March, proving it is not immune to the fallout from the coronavirus. This decline may be historically large, but the survey was conducted between 26 February and 23 March and fieldwork was hindered by containment measures. That means that the decline understates the actual fall in sentiment for March.”

FocusEconomics Consensus Forecast panelists expect private consumption to fall 4.0% in 2020, which is down 5.2 percentage points from last month’s forecast. For 2021, the panel expects private consumption to rise 3.3%. FocusEconomics Consensus Forecast panelists expect fixed investment to fall 3.6% in 2020, which is down 4.6 percentage points from last month’s forecast. For 2021, panelists see fixed investment increasing 3.2%.

Author: Massimo Bassetti, Economist

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Eurozone Economic Sentiment Chart

Euro Area Economic Sentiment March 20 20

Note: The Economic Sentiment Indicator (ESI) is based on surveys addressed to the manufacturing, services, retail trade and construction sectors, as well as to consumers. Values above 100 indicate an above-average economic sentiment, whereas values below 100 indicate a below-average position.
Source: European Commission

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