Economic sentiment in the countries sharing the euro improved in September, but at a slower pace than in previous months, the European Commission reported Tuesday.
The Commission’s Economic Sentiment Indicator (ESI) rose to 91.1 in September, an improvement of 3.6 points from the 87.5 result in August. By comparison, August improved 5.1 points over the July reading.
Overall, the BSI continues to close in on the 94.1 reading seen in March and is well above the 64.9 result in April. The Commission noted that roughly 70% of the combined March and April results have been recovered.
France and the Netherlands recorded the largest improvements of 5.8 and 2.1 points, respectively, with Germany gaining 1.2 points and thereby recovering 80% of the confidence lost during the lockdown.
Improvements in sentiment were seen in all main component industries including services, industry, consumers, retail and construction. Services showed the most improvement, gaining 6.1 points “thanks to managers’ much less negative views on the past business situation and past demand”, the Commission said.
Consumer confidence rose slightly to -13.9 from -14.7, with a “marked” pickup in expectations for improved economic conditions. The gain, however, was tempered by only a small improvement in future financial conditions and the view of past financial conditions reaching a new low.
The Employment Expectations Index (EEI) tracked the modest improvement in the ESI, improving to 91.8 from 89.5 in August.
For the broader European Union, the ESI rose to 90.2 in September from 86.8 the previous month and the EEI gained to 91.8 from 89.4.