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Eurozone Economic Confidence Unexpectedly Weakens In April

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Eurozone economic confidence unexpectedly weakened in April driven by worsening sentiment in industry, retail trade, construction and among consumers, survey results from the European Commission showed on Monday.

The economic confidence index dropped to 105.0 in April from 106.7 in March, while the reading was forecast to improve to 108.0.

Among big-four economies, economic sentiment deteriorated in Spain and in France. At the same time, confidence remained broadly unchanged in Germany, while it improved in Italy.

The industrial sentiment index came in at 7.9 in April, down from 9.0 in the previous month. Economists had forecast the index to advance to 9.5.

At 13.5, the services confidence index slid slightly from 13.6 in March. The improvement in managers’ views of past and expected demand was offset by a deterioration in their assessment of the past business situation.

The consumer sentiment index fell to -22.0 from -21.6 a month ago. The flash score was -16.9. The fall reflected marked decreases in households’ assessments of their own past financial situation and their intentions to make major purchases.
Reflecting a fall in managers’ assessments of the past business situation, retailers’ confidence weakened notably to -4.3 from -2.4 in March.

Due to a worsening in both managers’ appraisals of the level of order books and their employment expectations, the construction sentiment index declined to 7.1 from 8.9 in the prior month.

Further, the employment expectations indicator fell 1.1 points to 112.4 in April. The decline was due to worsened employment plans for the next three months in all four business sectors, namely industry, services, retail trade and construction.

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