Eurozone: Eurozone sentiment ends positive streak and falls in March
March 27, 2013
The Economic Sentiment Indicator (ESI) published by the European Commission declined to 90.0 points in March from the 91.1 points recorded in February. The decline, which ends a strike of four consecutive improvements in the index, exceeded market expectations that had sentiment falling only to 90.4 points. With the March drop, the index moved further away from its long-term average of 100 points.
The deterioration was broad-based, as all the main sectors reported weaker results, with the exception of consumer sentiment. At a country level, the largest drops were seen in Belgium (-3.7 points) and Austria (-2.9 points). Sentiment fell in three out of the four major economies in the region, with France recording the strongest moderation (-1.7 points), followed by Germany (-1.6 points) and Spain (-0.9 points). In contrast, economic sentiment rose 1.4 points in Italy. Malta is currently the country boasting the highest confidence level in the region with 103.1 points, followed by Estonia with 102.4 points.
FocusEconomics Consensus Forecast panellists see private consumption contracting 0.4% in 2013, which is down 0.1 percentage points over last month's projection. For 2014, panellists see consumption expanding 0.6%
Panellists expect investment to contract 1.4% in 2013, which is down 0.1 percentage points from last month's forecast. In 2014, panellists see investment rising 1.8%.
Author: Armando Ciccarelli, Head of Data Solutions