Eurozone confidence rises to near three-year high

BRUSSELS (AFP) – Business and consumer confidence  in the 16-nation eurozone jumped to the highest level for nearly three years in September with a strong gain in Germany, an EU survey said on Wednesday.

The Economic sentiment indicator produced by the European Commission rose by nearly one point from August to 103.2 points in the single currency area, the highest level since January 2008 when it reached 103.5 points.

Germany posted another “robust gain” of two points, contributing “the most to the overall development,” the commission said. Among the other large eurozone economies, confidence was up 1.1 points in Spain and 0.9 points in the Netherlands while it was stable in France. It dropped by 1.2 points in Italy.

The increase in confidence was more modest in the wider 27-nation European Union rising by 0.3 points to 103.4 points, with a sharp drop of 2.1 points in non-euro member Britain and a fall of 0.7 points in industrial power Poland.

Sentiment in industry was unchanged in the EU and rose by one point in the euro area, with managers reporting improvemetns in their order books assessment and production expectations, the commission said.

But consumer confidence weakened slightly, by one point, in the EU and remained broadly stable in the eurozone as people were “little more pessimistic about the general economic situation and their unemployment expectations.” – Yahoonews