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Economic sentiment in EU weakens: survey

The economic sentiment indicator in September decreased in both the 27-nation European Union (EU) and the 13-nation euro zone, according to official figures released on Friday.

The EU indicator slumped to 110.8 points, down by 2.3 points; while the euro zone indicator dropped to 107.1, down by 2.8 points, according to the survey of businesses and consumers in the EU. The survey was conducted by the Directorate General for Economic and Financial Affairs of the European Commission, which is responsible for surveys of different sectors of EU economies and applicant countries. The vast majority of countries in the EU reported decreases in sentiment, the survey showed. Despite the fall, both the EU and the euro zone countries still remain above the long-term average level of 100 points. Confidence deteriorated sharply in Germany, Spain, France and Italy, down by 3.6, 2.9, 1.5 and 0.8 points respectively. However, the indicator rose by 0.9 points and 1.3 points respectively in Poland and Britain.

The survey is addressed to representatives of the industry (manufacturing), service, retail trade and construction sectors, as well as to consumers. The fall in confidence was most pronounced in the retail trade sector. Confidence decreased among producers of consumer goods, investment goods and intermediate goods, but registered a slight increase among chemical and textile producers, according to the survey. The decline in the economic sentiment is reflected in the indicators for every sector except construction, which recovered slightly, the survey showed. The survey allows comparisons among business cycles of different countries and has become an indispensable tool for monitoring the developments of the EU and the euro zone economies, as well as the applicant countries. (