Eurozone: Economic sentiment falls to over two-year low in January
January 30, 2019
Economic sentiment in the Eurozone continued to drop in January, starting 2019 on a poor note. According to the European Commission (EC), the economic sentiment index (ESI) came in at 106.2 points, down from the revised 107.4 points in December (previously reported: 107.3 points) and the worst result since November 2016. January’s reading undershot market expectations of a softer fall to 106.8. Nonetheless, sentiment in the Eurozone remains elevated above the long-term average.
January’s downturn was driven by lower confidence in the industrial, services and retail trade sectors. In contrast, consumers became more upbeat at the start of the year along with the construction sector. Employment plans were mixed across sectors: worsening in the industrial and services sectors but improving elsewhere.
Economic sentiment decreased in most member countries, including major-players Germany and Italy. Notably, data for Ireland was included for the first time in the European aggregates by the European Commission in January 2019, leading to revised historical data.