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Higher economic sentiment in the euro area thanks to optimism about Italy and Spain

UNITED STATES (OBSERVATORY NEWS) — Eurozone economic sentiment improved in December thanks to optimism in Italy and Spain, as growing confidence in the services sector offset the deteriorating sentiment between consumers and factories, European Commission data showed on Wednesday.

The commission’s monthly survey showed that economic sentiment in the 20-nation eurozone rose to 101.5 points in December from 101.2 in November, rising for the second month in a row, exceeding the median forecast of 101.4 points in a Reuters poll of economists.

The improvement in sentiment was driven by greater confidence in the services sector, the largest economic sector in the cluster and in the construction sector.

Sentiment in the industry sector fell slightly despite factory managers expecting higher selling prices. Sentiment among consumers declined significantly as families expected the economic situation to deteriorate.

Among the bloc’s largest economies, the index improved significantly in Italy and surpassed the long-term average, after dropping slightly in November.

The euro zone’s third largest economy recorded an improvement in sentiment in all economic sectors tracked by the survey, with a jump in optimism among shop owners coinciding with the Christmas sale season.

The index as a whole rose significantly in Spain and rose in Germany, the largest European economy. In Germany, the morale of manufacturing companies was damaged by global trade wars and recorded the lowest level in seven years, but instead increased confidence in services.

Economic confidence eased slightly in France as a result of the decline in optimism among consumers.

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