By Aysu Bicer
ANKARA (AA) – Economic sentiment has improved in the eurozone and the EU in the second month of 2020, the European Commission announced on Thursday.
In February, the Economic Sentiment Indicator (ESI) rose 0.5 point to reach 103.0 in the EU and increased 0.9 point to reach 103.5 in the eurozone, according to a press release issued by the commission.
"The improvement of euro-area sentiment resulted from higher confidence among consumers and, to a lesser extent, industry managers, while sentiment in services, retail trade and construction remained virtually unchanged," the commission said.
Amongst the largest euro-area economies, the ESI soared in Netherlands by 2 points, and France by 1.9 points, while a more moderate one in Germany by 0.6. Sentiment in Italy remained flat.
The eurozone/euro area or EA19 represents member states that use the single currency — euro — while the EU includes all member countries of the bloc.
Confidence in industry, services, consumer rose markedly, while retail confidence remained largely flat.
"Construction confidence moved broadly sideways (-0.5), reflecting a combination of grimmer assessments of the level of order books and more optimistic employment expectations," the commission noted.
It also added the Employment Expectations Indicator eased mildly (-0.3), with brighter employment plans in construction counterbalanced by more pessimistic ones in industry.