Euro consumer morale hits a 27-month high

Julian Harris
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CONSUMER confidence across the Eurozone has edged up this month according to statistics published in Brussels yesterday, reaching its best level since July 2011.

The European Commission’s flash estimate of morale among the bloc’s consumers eased to an index score of minus 14.5 in October, up from minus 14.9 in September.

The measure has not been in positive territory since midway through 2011, and begun this year close to the minus 25 level. As economic conditions have thawed during 2013, however, the index has risen for 11 consecutive months.

In the wider European Union area the confidence measure is above the zero mark, remaining at 11.7 this month, the figures showed.

“The latest increase in sentiment was the smallest since May and it meant that Eurozone consumer confidence is still modestly below its long-term average level of minus 13.3,” commented Howard Archer, chief economist at IHS Global Insight.

“The recent strengthening in sentiment has been primarily due to improved views on the current economic situation and, especially, the outlook,” Archer added. Recent surveys from the Netherlands and Belgium reveal a more bullish economic outlook, he said.