Eurozone: Economic sentiment inches down in March
March 29, 2012
The Economic Sentiment Indicator (ESI) published by the European Commission fell to 94.4 points in March, down from 94.5 points in February. The reading marked the first drop in the index after two consecutive increases and defied market expectations, which had sentiment unchanged at 94.5 points. At the current level, the index remains below the long-term average of 100 points, suggesting deteriorating prospects for the Eurozone economy going forward. The decline was driven by worse results in two out of the five main categories, with the largest drop experienced in the construction sector, followed by industry. At a country level, the largest deteriorations were seen in Germany (-2.4 points) and Cyprus (-2.2 points). Germany, however, still boasts the highest confidence level in the region (104.3 points). Among other major economies, sentiment improved in Italy (+3.5 points) and France (+2.0 points), while it fell in Spain by 1.1 points.
Author: Armando Ciccarelli, Head of Data Solutions